Partners Cities: Bratislava

Background information about the city

Bratislava is situated in the south west of Slovakia on the border with Austria and Hungary; its history stretches back to the 2nd century BC. The Danube River, Low Carpathian Hills and Danube Lowlands are the most significant geographical features. 450,000 people live in the city but and extra 200,000 commute there each day, placing stress on the transport system.

Traffic growth in Bratislava during the last 15 years has reached an unsustainable level. Although a metro has been promised as a solution to the problems the city faces, it is continually pushed further and further into the future. Time has been working against the improvements to residents’ quality of life.

Current transport situation

Recent years have seen an increase in its residents’ mobility, thanks to economic growth. Whereas in 1990 there were 2.85 trips per inhabitant per day, by 2002 the number had increased to 3.09. There has also been a change in the modal split between public and individual transport from 75:25 to 59:41 in favour of car usage. This has resulted in congestion and pollution problems.

Congestion has increased even more due to the construction of a new residential area. The 120,000 residents from the area who have to cross the river Danube each day can only choose between car and bus. Because of current underdevelopment in the public transport system, bridges are congested and buses overcrowded.

Ennvironmental situation/problems

Air quality

The cadastre area of the capital of the Slovak Republic Bratislava was ranked, to the end of the year 2002, as the extremely polluted areas or heavy-laden areas, which require special protection.

The most effected is the central area of the city. Relatively the best situation is in the western and north-western sector of the city.

The largest contribution to the pollution of air is that of chemical industry, energetics and automobile transport. The significant secondary source of air pollution in the city is secondary dustiness, the level of which depends on meteorological factors, earthwork and agricultural work and character of the surface.

There is a decreasing trend observed in the amount of the basic pollutants during the last period thanks to the legislative and technological measures in protection of air.

Great advantage of Bratislava is high windiness and minimum number of inversion days. In regard to the favourable wind conditions, pollution figures (values) are rapidly decreasing in dependence on distance from the source and in the residential areas there is rarely determined overload of the emission limits.

Emission situation

In connection with the changing law regarding air protection we have approached to a formation of a new system NEIS (National Emission Inventory System).

Objective of the NEIS project was to unify the central emission inventory (SHI) with the process of collection of data on emissions and fees carried out by “Air Protection authorities” (Environmental divisions at District offices), as well as to approximate this process to the relevant legal aspect and international obligations

NEIS includes air pollution sources classified by their output and category (pursuant to the SR Government Resolution):

  • large-size sources
  • medium-size sources
  • small-size sources

NEIS programme is designed in accordance with present (valid) legislation in the Slovak Republic, the newest changes in legislation of air protection being accepted in it, as well as the international regulations defined in the convention UN FCCC, UN ECE and in the programme CORINAIR.

Mobile sources of air pollutants

There is monitored (detected) a stable increase in road traffic in the city area. In regard to the insufficient capacity of the existing network of roads (it is the problem of all cities in Europe) and up to now it has been impossible to build a classical ring road, air contamination in the centre of the city is retrograding.

What can be taken positively is improvement of the quality of vehicles and technical controls obligation. Change of leaded petrol for unleaded one has caused a rapid decrease of toxic lead content in the environment, but it was replaced by increase of carcinogenic benzene concentrations. The most polluted locality in term of traffic in the Slovak Republic is a crossroad “Trnavské mýto”.

For calculation of road traffic emissions is used a method COPERT, which is recommended to the participants of EHK OSN treaty on distance air pollution which exceeds state borders.

Present state of the emission production is believed to be due to partial alteration of the car fleet and partial equipment of cars with the three-way controlled catalytic converters, which decrease mainly CO, NOx, and VOC emissions.

Mobile sources

Emissions from mobile sources have been calculated and determined every year since 1990. To calculate emissions from road traffic, the method of Computer Programme to Calculate Emissions from Road Transport (COPERT) is used. Besides road transport, other emissions are calculated, such as emissions from railway traffic, air traffic, and water transport, which follow the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPCC) methodology.

Immission situation

Within AMS of the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute emission measurements represent the highest technical level of inspection of outer air pollution.

Results of air pollution measurements on monitoring stations SHMÚ have been evaluated-for the year 2002- in terms of a newly passed Air Protection Act. The Air Act has harmonized principles of evaluation of air quality with present legislation (valid) in EU countries.

Present environmental politics of the SR is aimed to fulfill all international agreements, harmonizing legislation, limits and norms with EU.

Institutional Context

The main actors where air quality is concerned are:

  • Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHI)
  • Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
  • Environmental divisions at District offices
  • Authorities of air protection
  • Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic – Department of Air Protection
  • Regional authorities - Departments of Air Protection
  • District authorities - Departments of Air Protection
  • The Slovak Inspectorate of the Environment – Inspectorate of the Air Protection

Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic – (Department of Air Protection) is the organ central of the state administration of the air protection, which

  • controls state administration execution in the matters concerning air protection.
  • administers principal state supervision in the matters of air protection,
  • insures by means of an accredited organization monitoring and evaluation of air quality, transfer and dispersion of air pollutants,
  • covers by means of an accredited organization coordination of programmes for ensuring quality of air which are organized by the European Committee,
  • keeps register - by means of an accredited organization – of the large and medium sources, of their emissions and evaluates the register data,
  • grants exceptions to the emission limits, general operation conditions, validity terms and their proving in cases approved by the European Committee,
  • makes accessible for the public - by means of an accredited organization - information and at least once a year publishes information on the quality of air and share of individual (certain) sources responsible for its pollution,
  • covers - in its own terms of reference – research, monitors technical development within the air protection and supports spreading of technologies restricting air pollution,
  • gives approval to production and import of equipment, materials and products which are pollutants or potential pollutants if they are stated in a list and published in an official publication

The Slovak Inspectorate of the Environment (hereinafter referred to as SIE) is a specialized supervisory authority providing for the state supervision and imposing fines on the matters concerning environment protection and carrying out the municipal administration in the field of integrated pollution prevention and control. The principal activity of the regional inspectorates is the supervision of observation of the environmental legal provisions, imposing of fines and introduction of corrective measures.

SIE under the Act on Air Protection focuses particularly on:

  • whether the operation of the sources of air pollution complies with documentation and requirements established by the district authorities and municipalities,
  • following approved operational parameters and technical and executive measures for ambient air protection determined for the operation of the air pollution sources,
  • following emission limits and general operational requirements,
  • maintenance of operational records,
  • fulfilment of the measures for the course mitigation and liquidation of consequences of emergency conditions,

Regional Environmental Authority

  • makes accessible for the public information and publishes information on quality of air and share of individual (certain) sources responsible for its pollution
  • negotiates and gives approval – with the accredited organization – to an emplacement of the gauging stations in collaboration with the municipal regional hygienist
  • gives approval to the demarcation of the areas exigent of special air protection, areas of air quality control and areas of air quality control with the precondition (presumption) of smog situation
  • elaborates, publishes, makes public the programme and the integrated programme
  • institutes ( founds )smog regulative systems and defines their operation regime
  • informs public about deterioration of the air quality and about publication (proclamation) and cancellation...

District Environmental Authority gives approval to:

  • issue of decision (act) on positioning of constructions of large and medium sources,
  • installation of technical engineering units for monitoring emissions and level of air pollution
  • approval to the change in the fuel and raw material used, changes of technological equipment of the large and medium sources
  • approval of the onward operation of waste incineration plant and equipment for conjoint waste incineration
  • decides in doubts about demarcation (determination), incorporation or categorization of the stationary source
  • defines emission quotas for pollutants discharged from individual large and medium sources
  • defines emission limits and air protection conditions
  • ensures preservation of air quality
  • takes a share in elaborating the programme and the integrated programme

Municipality in a transferred state administration activity concerning matters of air protection:

  • takes a share in elaborating the programme and the integrated programme
  • inspects observance of duties by the small source operators
  • gives approval to constructions of small sources
  • gives approval to the change in the fuel and raw material used, changes of technological equipment of the small sources and changes in their exploitation
  • imposes fines to the small sources operators
  • it can order restriction or shutdown of a small source operation
  • it determines extant (proportion) and conditions of keeping small source routine evidence



Capital of the Slovak Republic Bratislava




2004 Copyright note and legal information