Canada Air quality: Brussels refers France to the EU courts

17:30  30 october  2020
17:30  30 october  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Paris a dépassé le seuil de pollution aux particules fines sur une durée de douze ans. © PHILIPPE WOJAZER / REUTERS Paris has exceeded the fine particle pollution threshold over a period of twelve years.

The thresholds were exceeded in Paris and Martinique over a period of twelve years for the French capital and fourteen for the overseas department.

The European Commission has decided to refer France to the EU Court of Justice for failing to comply with its obligation to protect citizens against poor air quality, according to a statement released Thursday.

Brussels accuses France of the systematic non-compliance with European rules on pollution with fine particles PM10, the thresholds of which were exceeded in the areas of Paris and Martinique over a period of, respectively, twelve and fourteen years.

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The European executive had already referred France to justice in 2018 for non-compliance with the limit values ​​for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a polluting gas mainly produced by diesel engines.

European justice recognized a year later that this threshold was systematically exceeded, opening the way, secondly, to possible sanctions.

PM10 fine particles are mainly present in emissions from industry, automobile traffic and home heating, but they are also found in emissions from the agricultural sector.

In early July, the Council of State condemned the French government to a historic fine of 10 million euros per semester late if it did not tighten its system against air pollution.

The highest administrative court in the country, which in 2017 ordered the State to implement plans to reduce the levels of PM10 particles and / or nitrogen dioxide, had been seized by associations to find that this injunction had not been followed up.

The government has since issued a decree in September to create low emission zones in several towns.

The European Environment Agency estimates that some 400,000 premature deaths can be attributed to air pollution in Europe each year.

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