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Air pollution control legislation

Environmental Protection Act

Since Finland joined the European Union in 1995, air pollution control has continued to evolve alongside the Community legislation on the subject.

The most important legislation for controlling air pollution is the Environmental Protection Act, which is applied to all activities that may lead to environmental pollution. The European Union directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) is implemented through the Environmental Protection Act.

  • Environmental Protection Act (527/2014, in Finnish, Finlex)
  • Environmental Protection Decree (713/2014, in Finnish, Finlex)


Under the Environmental Protection Act, the Government may issue necessary decrees for the purpose of preventing and reducing environmental pollution. The Government may stipulate by decree, for example, on emissions into the environment, restrictions of emissions and enforcement of emissions limits.

If the use of a fuel or a substance with an adverse effect on the atmosphere gives rise to emissions which may be justifiably deemed to cause harm to health or the environment, the Government may stipulate by decree on limiting or prohibiting the manufacture, import, placing on the market, export, transfer or use of a substance, preparation or product and on the composition and marking of a substance, preparation or product.

Government decrees on the reduction of emissions from transport are issued under the Vehicles Act.

Air Quality

Finnish air quality objectives include binding limit values and non-binding national guideline values. The mandatory air quality limit values correspond to those of the European Union's Air Quality Framework Directive (96/62/EC, EUR-lex) and the three daughter directives: (1999/30/EC, EUR-lex), (2000/69/EC, EUR-lex) and (2002/3/EC, EUR-lex).

The provisions of these directives have been transposed into the national legislation by the Environmental Protection Act, the Government Decree on air quality (711/2001, in Finnish, Finlex) and the Government Decree on ozone in ambient air (783/2003, in Finnish, Finlex)

Air quality in buildings is regulated in accordance with the Health Protection Act (763/1994, in Finnish, Finlex) and falls under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Further information

Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs Katariina Haavanlammi, tel. +358 295 250 072, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Published 2013-10-01 at 13:17, updated 2018-07-31 at 8:48