Multiple air quality law breaches

In its February infringements package, the European Commission announced that it is referring Slovakia to the EU Court of Justice for breaching the daily EU limits for PM10 in the Banskobystrický region, the city of Kosice and its surrounding region, almost every year since 2005.

“The air quality measures, presented by Slovakia, have not proven to be timely and effective to reduce pollution within the agreed limits and they do not contribute to keeping the exceedance periods as short as possible, as required by EU law,” the Commission states.

Belgium, Czechia and Poland have all failed to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) levels below EU limits.

In Belgium, the NO₂ limit values have been exceeded in Brussels since 2010 and in Antwerp since 2015.

In Czechia, the annual limit values for NO₂ have been exceeded in Prague and there is currently no valid air quality plan for the city.

In Poland, the annual limit values for NO₂ have been exceeded in four urban agglomerations (Warszawska, Krakowska, Wrocławska and Górnośląska). Reports show that the measures taken to tackle the NO₂ levels are not sufficient to keep the exceedance periods as short as possible.

The Commission has now sent reasoned opinions to Belgium, Czechia and Poland, and the countries have two months to reply and take the necessary measures, otherwise the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Source: European Commission, 18 February 2021.


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