In Madrid NO2 limits have been regularly breached. Photo: /Luca Sartoni CC BY-SA

Bulgaria & Spain face EU Court over air pollution

On 25 July, the European Commission sent Bulgaria and Spain to court for repeatedly breaching EU air quality standards and failing to guarantee citizens’ right to clean air.

For Bulgaria, the Commission noted “persisting non-compliance” with hourly and daily limit values for sulphur dioxide (SO2), in the south-east zone, where the four largest coal-fired power plants in Bulgaria are located. In 2017, Bulgaria was referred to the court over poor air quality for breaching limit values for particulate matter (PM10).

In the case of Spain, there have been systematic breaches of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits. The decision to refer Spain to the court concerns the urban areas of Madrid, Barcelona and Vallès-Baix Llobregat, where the legal limits for NO2 have been persistently breached.

Source: EEB and Commission press releases, 25 July 2019.


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