“No one has set up interest, measuring stations wrong”

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Many of the air monitoring stations provide on allegedly too-high values, because they are close to intersections, like in Mainz. Ulrike Höfken, Minister of the environment of Rhineland-Palatinate.

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  • imago/Reiner Zensen

    Ulrike Höfken , and in 2011, environment Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate. The Green party politician has studied agriculture and was in the job.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: woman Höfken, in Mainz, Germany, is the most important air measuring station closer to an intersection than the EU requires. Authorities count on this way, the air quality is poor, so that there are driving bans?

Ulrike Höfken: The Station is there, according to the EU air quality Directive fully compliant – since 39 years. The distance of 23.5 meters.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The EU requires 25 meters, but in many places in Germany. Even a slight change in positioning can have different measurement results. And the Parcusstraße in Mainz, Germany, the limit value is exceeded only slightly.

Höfken: The distance of 25 meters is not the EU requires, but is for orientation purposes with the formulation: “to the extent possible”. One and a half Meter difference in the measurement. The installation location must meet numerous criteria. At the Parcusstraße is given.

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SPIEGEL ONLINE: That sounds a bit like the car industry: exhaust gas cleaning make we only if it is possible and not the Motor harm.

Höfken: This is an indecent comparison. VW has made to the criminal fraud not guilty.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Federal Ministry of transport wants to, the location of all stations in the country. Makes Rhineland-Palatinate?

Höfken: We check the sites regularly. The Minister can’t just do what he wants.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: you make the Checks, so you cannot.

Höfken: Our own controls are sufficient, with the passive collectors we carry out quality controls. Nobody has an interest in ensuring that monitoring stations be set up in a wrong place.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Should the measuring results are not nationally comparable? It is unfair, if there is in a town with a driving ban, where the Station is very close to the intersection, while elsewhere – is also measured in foreign – different, and there is no ban on driving.

Höfken: There may be differences in the measurement results, because the cities in boilers or less Wind is blowing. The measurements themselves are in conformity with the law and by the EU. Debt to the limit, not the stations, but the machinations of the car industry are exceeded.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Green politicians to use the measurement results sometimes sent. In Hesse, a green Ministry of overruns reported shortly before the state election, suddenly, a further measurement station for Frankfurt to Berlin – with a high threshold value. Therefore, Frankfurt’s prohibition hardly a minute to save. The Greens want to prevent bans, but also allegedly?

Höfken: Yes, we don’t want any bans. But the Federal government wants to legitimize limit value is exceeded and want to change, even laws.

MIRROR ONLINE: The Modification of the Immission protection law to certain limit values are exceeded allow. In any case, you’d have kept the Frankfurt possibly a driving ban. The new measuring station showed up.

Höfken: This change in the law is a violation of law. It’s going to be a legitimization of the excess of the existing limit value for nitrogen dioxide by 25 percent, to the detriment of the health of the population. The credibility of the policy takes massive damage due to the attitude of the Federal government. The same thing is used with the AfD.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In France, hundreds of thousands against higher taxes on Diesel to protest. So you had not expected, when you bought the supposedly clean cars. In Germany, many diesel drivers complain about the loss of value by driving bans. They fear similar protests in this country?

Höfken: We are on the side of the motorist and of the population. We request, as all countries together in the conference of environment Ministers, the industry, to upgrade old diesel cars in Germany with exhaust gas cleaning systems – on their costs.

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