BREAKING: Spain fails to comply with EU pollution laws

BREAKING: Spain fails to comply with EU pollution laws

THE European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday, December 21 that Spain has failed to comply with EU pollution laws.

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) declared that Spain has failed to comply with the Commission’s request on two specific points with regard to pollution laws in Madrid and Barcelona.

The Commission accused Spain of having infringed the air quality directive for the annual limit value of nitrogen dioxide NO2, which has been systematically and continuously exceeded since 2010 in the Barcelona Area of Vallès-Baix Llobregat and in Madrid, according to the CJEU/

After the ruling on December 22, the CJEU said: “Spain failed to ensure that the annual limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was not systematically and continuously exceeded, on the one hand, from 2010 to 2018 inclusive, in the metropolitan area of Barcelona and the city of Madrid and, from 2010 to 2017 inclusive, in the Vallès-Baix Llobregat area, and, on the other hand, from 2010 to 2018 inclusive, in the area of the city of Madrid, the hourly limit value set for NO2”.

It added: “Spain has failed to ensure that the air quality plans provide for appropriate measures to ensure that the period during which the limit values laid down for NO2 are exceeded is as short as possible, by failing to adopt, since 11 June 2010, appropriate measures to ensure compliance with those limit values in the zones of the metropolitan area of Barcelona, Vallès-Baix Llobregat and the city of Madrid.”

In data recorded, Spain reportedly exceeded “the annual and hourly limit values, systematically and continuously.”

As noted, between 2010 and 2018, Spain “systematically and continuously” exceeded the annual limit values ​​in the areas of Barcelona, Vallès-Baix Llobregat and Madrid.

In the event of exceeding these limit values, countries are supposed to adopt air quality plans in which they establish adequate measures that guarantee that the period of exceedance is as short as possible.

The European Commission considered that in the air quality plans adopted, Spain had not provided adequate and sufficient measures to guarantee that the period for exceeding said limits in the three affected areas was as short as possible.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at