Italy must take action on air quality

On 27 April, Italy received a final warning from the European Commission because of failure to address persistently high levels of particulate matter (PM10). More than 66,000 people die prematurely in Italy each year as a result of PM pollution, making it the most affected of all EU countries, according to estimates by the European Environment Agency.

The final warning applies to 30 air quality zones across Italy, where the daily limit values for PM10 have been exceeded since they came into force in 2005. In addition, the warning also refers to exceedances of the annual limit value in nine zones. If Italy fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice (ECJ).

The Commission is currently pursuing infringement actions for excessive levels of PM10 against 16 member states, and two of these cases (against Bulgaria and Poland) have been brought before the ECJ. Legal action has also been initiated on nitrogen dioxide (NO2), so far involving twelve member states.

Source: European Commission press release, 27 April 2017


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