Both the regions and the Federal Government are involved in the tropospheric ozone issue in line with their respective responsibilities.

Belgian experts meet within the framework of the Atmosphere Steering Group set up by the Coordinating Committee for International Environmental Policy (CCPIE).

The Atmosphere Steering Group is where information is exchanged between regions and the Federal government on atmospheric pollution. It is also the forum in which positions and reports drawn up by Belgium at the request of European and international organisations are prepared.

Under federal responsibility, three successive "Ozone Plans" have been implemented since 1996, then evaluated and adapted. The third was introduced in 2003. It is also part of the first National Ozone Plan, which combines the plans of the three regions and that of the government. This was drawn up during summer 2003 to improve coordination of action to be taken and to inform the public.

Further to Belgium's "Printemps de l'environnement" process, the Federal plan on air quality 2009-2012 (FR) (.PDF) will put together a group of structural measures (i.e. which will have long-term impact on reducing ozone precursor gas emissions) which will be implemented by the various ministers and federal administrations affected, including certain taxation measures.

As far as VOCs found in paints and varnishes are concerned, a Royal Decree of 7 October 2005 (.PDF) limits the presence of VOCs in the composition of some products. This measure is part of the wider scope of the NEC directive (WEB) which develops a strategy for reducing VOC emissions.

In addition to these structural measures, short-term procedures and measures are provided when ozone threshold concentrations are exceeded. The Belgian government and the institutions involved have also taken concerted action on several levels to implement these measures.

If the information (180 µg/m3) or alert (240 µg/m3) thresholds are exceeded, the CELINE (WEB) cells sends press releases to the Belga press agency, which relays this information to the various media.

As a result of the Ozone and Heatwave plan (FR and NL only), this procedure has been updated and now makes it possible to inform certain players regarded as key relays for managing this kind of situation. Once thresholds combining criteria of heat and ozone concentration have been exceeded, the emergency services, hospitals and retirement homes are notified.

The Ozone and Heatwave plan (FR and NL only ) comprises 3 stages: a monitoring phase, a warning phase (subdivided into two levels) and finally an alert phase. This plan provides guidance on identifying people suffering from heatstroke or excess ozone. It also includes advice for preventing heat-related problems, especially where the ill, elderly or very young children are concerned.