Summary of anti-smog measures in Małopolska Region in 2023

The Marshal’s Office of the Małopolska Region has summarised data from all municipalities and districts regarding the implementation of the Air Protection Programme for the Małopolska Region in 2023.

The summary of the realisation of tasks resulting from the Programme contains a range of information concerning, among other things: elimination of out-of-class heating devices, thermo-modernisation of buildings, investments in RES. An important element of the summary is also information on expenses incurred and environmental effects achieved.

Number of eliminated obsolete solid fuel boilers in Małopolska in 2013-2023.
*from 2020 onwards, data refer to the number of buildings/locations where inefficient solid fuel heat sources have been eliminated

The low emission reduction measures undertaken by municipalities and districts have reduced PM10 emissions by 554 Mg, PM2.5 emissions by 542 Mg in 2023. Benzo(a)pyrene emissions were reduced by 169 kg over the past year.

Residents of Małopolska Region are keen to take advantage of financial assistance from the Clean Air Programme to replace heat sources and thermo-modernise buildings. According to data from the Provincial Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, 23 027 applications were submitted in Małopolska in 2023. In comparison, 17 722 applications were submitted in 2022 and 19 973 in 2021.

In 2023, there were 4 112 thermal modernisations of residential buildings in the province and 11 942 investments in renewable energy sources. It should be noted that the number of modernised buildings and new RES installations is certainly even higher in reality. The data presented are mainly based on information from residents and managers who applied for subsidies, and the thermomodernisation process was included in the statistics of the relevant offices.

Inspections and educational measures

179 municipalities (out of 182) in the Małopolska voivodeship have undertaken checks on compliance with the anti-smog resolution and the waste incineration ban. In 2023, more than 35.3 thousand controls were carried out, during which 448 cases of non-compliance with the provisions of the resolution and 713 cases of waste incineration were detected. 458 fines were imposed and 47 cases were referred to court. The inspections were carried out with the participation of municipal police officers, the police and employees of the municipality or town hall.

The largest number of inspections of fireplaces for compliance with the anti-smog resolution and the waste incineration ban were carried out in: Kraków (1,970 inspections), Nowy Sącz (1,040 inspections), Skawina (613 inspections), Nowy Targ – a municipal municipality (552 inspections), Kęty (520 inspections) and Wieliczka (486 inspections).

Activities of municipalities

One of the most important functions supporting residents in the process of replacing cookers is performed by Eco-managers employed by municipalities. In 2023, the same number of eco-maganers were active in the province as in 2022. In total, there were 249 of them in 178 Małopolska municipalities. In addition, 181 municipalities operated service points for the Clean Air Programme, which is very popular.

Within the voivodship, 112 new public transport vehicles with high environmental performance were purchased. A total of over 143 km of new bicycle paths were added in Małopolska, and 53 municipalities carried out campaigns promoting the use of sustainable forms of transport. In 2023, the municipalities and districts of the Małopolska Voivodeship organised a total of more than 1.8 thousand actions or educational campaigns in the field of air protection, thanks to which it was possible to reach almost 3 million people.

Improving air quality

As shown by the data contained in the Annual Air Quality Assessment prepared by the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in 2023, there were no more exceedences of PM 2.5, and the remaining concentrations of harmful substances clearly decreased. PM10 dust exceedances already occurred only at the following stations: in Nowy Targ and Sucha Beskidzka – by comparison, in previous years they occurred at most measurement stations.

Particularly noteworthy is the city of Tarnów, where no exceedances of any substance were recorded in 2023 – for the first time in the history of measurements.

Zone classifications for particular pollutants obtained in the assessment for 2023 performed taking into account criteria established for the protection of human health – basic classification (classes: A, C and A1, C1 for particulate matter PM2.5) – data source – Annual air quality assessment for the Małopolskie Voivodeship in 2023 – Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection

The improvement in air quality in Krakow and Małopolska is particularly evident during the heating season from October to March. The average concentration of PM10 dust between the 2014-2015 winter season (the period before the introduction of the anti-smog resolution for Krakow and Małopolska) and the 2023-2024 season fell by 51% in Małopolska, including as much as 57% in Krakow and 49% outside Krakow.

Detailed information summarising the implementation of the 2023 Air Protection Programme in the Małopolska region is available here.