Thursday, June 18, 2015

European Commission Takes Bulgaria, Belgium to Court over Poor Air Quality

The European Commission is referring Belgium and Bulgaria to EU Court of Justice over persistently high levels of the dust particles which pose a major risk to public health.

Despite an obligation for Member States to ensure good air quality for citizens, air quality has been a problem in many places for a number of years now, according to a media statement of the EC.

Studies show that every year poor air quality causes more deaths than road traffic accidents.

Tiny particles known as PM10s, mostly resulting from human activities such as transport, industry and domestic heating cause respiratory problems, lung cancer and premature death.

EU legislation has set limit values for PM10 (i.e. particulate matter of a diameter of less than 10 microns) since 2005.

In case of exceedance of such limit values, Member States adopt air quality plans and ensure that such plans set appropriate measures so that the exceedance period can be kept as short as possible by adopting decisive and more forward-looking action.

In Bulgaria, despite a number of measures taken and some reductions in PM10 emissions registered at most monitoring points since 2011, the data shows persisting non-compliance with the annual and/or daily limit values for PM10 in all the country's 6 zones and agglomerations other than in Varna, which complied with the annual limit value once – in 2009. Today's decision follows a reasoned opinion sent in July 2014.

The main limit values for which there are compliance problems in the EU are PM10, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) originating in traffic fumes and (to a much lesser extent) SO2. For SO2 only one Member State is in infringement, while for PM10 we have court cases against 16 Member States. For NO2, there are 6 procedures under way.

The Commission also took action today against another Member State, Sweden, for poor air quality, sending a reasoned opinion.

There are 16 open infringement actions for PM10 at various stages, against Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Belgium and Bulgaria are the first cases of this type to be brought to Court...
 [novinite.com]

18/6/15

1 comment:

  1. EC takes Bulgaria to court over poor air quality...

    The European Commission said on June 17 that it has referred Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice, saying that the country failed to implement measures to reduce “persistently high levels of the dust particles which pose a major risk to public health.”

    Bulgaria has repeatedly scored the worst in the EU in terms of reducing the concentration of dust particles – specifically in the PM10 category, which tracks particulate matter in the one-hundredth of a millimetre size range – according to the EU’s annual air quality surveys.

    In Bulgaria, despite a number of measures taken and some reductions in PM10 emissions registered at most monitoring points since 2011, the data shows persisting non-compliance with the annual and/or daily limit values for PM10 in all the country’s six zones and agglomerations other than in Varna, which complied with the annual limit value once (in 2009), the Commission said in a statement.

    These particles – mostly resulting from human activities such as transport, industry and domestic heating –cause respiratory problems, lung cancer and premature death. “Studies show that every year poor air quality causes more deaths than road traffic accidents,” the Commission said.....http://sofiaglobe.com

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