The Commission Recommendation 2000/473/Euratom concerning the monitoring of the levels of radioactivity in the environment for the purpose of assessing the exposure of the population as a whole, recommends to Member States obligations on the application of Articles 35 and 36 of the Euratom Treaty. The Euratom Treaty is the Treaty which establishes the European Atomic Energy Community.

Based on the requirements of Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty the Commission recommends that each Member State establishes the facilities necessary to carry out continuous monitoring of the levels of radioactivity in air, water and soil and to ensure compliance with the basic safety standards. The Treaty also gives the European Commission the right of access to such facilities in order that it may verify their operation, efficiency and assessment of the adequacy of monitoring facilities.

In addition, Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty sets out an obligation for each Member State to provide the Commission with periodic reports on the data collected under Article 35 so that it is kept informed of the level of radioactivity to which the public is exposed.

Malta’s obligations with respect to the implementation of Articles 35 and 36 of the Treaty are set out in the National Environment Radioactivity Surveillance Plan (NERSP) for Malta. This plan identifies the monitoring requirements of ambient radiation, measurement of radioactivity concentrations in aerosols/ particles in air, food, drinking water, coastal waters and soils. The Radiation Protection Board (RPB) is responsible to coordinate the implementation of the requirements of the Euratom Treaty. The responsibility is shared between the member agencies of the RPB namely ERA, the Civil Protection Department the Environmental Health Directorate, and the Occupational Health and Safety Authority.

ERA’s remit in the NERSP for Malta is divided into four separate actions, which include Continuous Gamma dose rate monitoring and analysis of radiation levels in air particulates, coastal surface waters and soil monitoring.