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Pollutants and nuisances

Emissions of pollutants into ambient air

Pursuant to the Atmospheric Air Protection Act, a possessor of a stationary emission source who holds an air pollution permit or an integrated environmental permit is required to ensure that the emissions released into the ambient air from the emission source operated by it does not exceed the provisions of the air pollution permit or integrated environmental permit, the emission limit values of pollutants established, and shall not cause the air quality limit value or target value established for a pollutant to be exceeded outside the production area of the installation.

Air quality limit value is the emission limit value of pollutant in a unit of volume of the ambient air or an emission limit value of pollutant which has deposited on a surface unit. The objective of establishing the limit value is to prevent, preclude or reduce the adverse impact of the pollutant to human health or the environment. Significant environmental nuisance is presumed in the case the air quality limit value is exceeded.

Air quality target value is the quantity of a pollutant in a unit of volume of ambient air or the quantity of a pollutant deposited on a surface which has to be attained in the case the specified quantity is exceeded by taking appropriate measures not entailing disproportionate costs and with the aim of improving the air quality and avoiding or reducing adverse impact on human health and the environment.

The emission allowance of a pollutant (including maximum instantaneous emissions) is determined for a permit such that the amount of pollutant released into the ambient air from a stationary emission source or from all emission sources located within a single production area shall not cause the air quality limit value established for the pollutant to be exceeded outside the production area of the installation. This means that the activity of the company may not cause the air quality limit value to be exceeded outside the production area of the installation and this principle is complied with upon the proceeding of the permit.

Substance with unpleasant odour

For the purposes of the Atmospheric Air Protection Act, a substance with unpleasant or irritant odour (hereinafter odoriferous substances) shall mean a substance or mixture of substances which may cause the population to experience undesirable sensations of odour and which was emitted into the ambient air.

The presence of odoriferous substances in ambient air is determined by a group of experts using internationally recognised methods. If odoriferous substances are ascertained, the possessor of the emission source must prepare and submit a plan for reducing the presence of odoriferous substances to the region of the Environmental Board of the location for approval. The Environmental Inspectorate shall verify compliance with the plan in co-operation with the Environmental Board.

Environmental noise

For the purposes of the Atmospheric Air Protection Act, environmental noise shall mean unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities and unwanted or harmful sound created by stationary or mobile sources, including means of transport, road traffic, railway traffic, air traffic, devices used in outdoor conditions and companies needing integral environmental permit. The law provides that unjustified creation of environmental noise is prohibited.

The Atmospheric Air Protection Act defines the normative levels of environmental noise, the values (including permitted levels) of which are provided in regulation No. 71 “Normative levels of environmental noise and methods for measurement, determination and assessment of noise levels” of the Minister of the Environment.

Normative levels of noise have been defined as follows:

limit value of noise – the maximum permitted level of noise. The exceeding of the limit value causes environmental nuisance and reduction measures have to be enforced;

target value of noise – the maximum permitted level of noise in newly planned areas, which is ensured by the party interested in a spatial plan.

Complaints about the noise can be submitted to the Health Board. If the Health Board has conducted control measurements of the noise level which show that the normative levels of noise have been exceeded, the possessor of the noise source shall pay for the measurements and shall implement measures for reducing the noise. If the possessor of the noise source has an environmental protection permit, the measures for reducing the noise shall also be transferred to the permit. The Environmental Inspectorate shall in turn check the compliance with the requirements reflected on the permit.


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