EU refers Bulgaria to court for high values of SO2 caused by coal-fired power plants


Photo: Pixabay


July 31, 2019






July 31, 2019





The European Commission has decided to refer Bulgaria and Spain to the Court of Justice of the EU over poor air quality. The reason in Bulgaria’s case is failing to respect the limit values of sulfur dioxide (SO2).

This decision is part of reinforced action by the European Commission (EC) to engage with EU Member States to protect citizens’ health from poor air quality, as set out in the Clean Air for All package of May 2018, the EC said in a press release.

In the case of Bulgaria, the latest sulfur dioxide (SO2) data presented show persisting non-compliance with the hourly and/or daily limit values for SO2 in the South-East zone, where the four largest thermal power plants (TPPs) in Bulgaria are located. Since 2005, EU rules set limit values for SO2 concentration in ambient air. These provisions are applicable to Bulgaria as of its accession to the EU from January 1, 2007.

This decision constitutes a second referral to the Court of Justice of the EU for Bulgaria’s failure to comply with EU air quality standards. In its judgment of April 5, 2017, the Court confirmed Bulgaria’s failure to comply with the limit values for PM10.

Bulgaria was also among half of the EU’s 28 member states, including Cyprus, Greece, Romania, and Slovenia, which failed to prepare their air pollution reduction plans by the April 1 deadline.

According to the press release, when limit values set by EU legislation on ambient air quality (Directive 2008/50/EC) are exceeded, as in the cases of Bulgaria and Spain, Member States have to adopt air quality plans and ensure that such plans set appropriate measures so that the exceedance period can be kept as short as possible.

Air pollution continues to be the number one environmental health problem in the EU, with estimates pointing to around 400,000 premature deaths attributable to air pollution per year.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Activists concerned following European Parliament vote on Critical Raw Materials Act

Activists slam EU after vote on Critical Raw Materials Act

17 September 2023 - Civil society organizations criticized EU institutions after the European Parliament adopted a position on the Critical Raw Materials Act

German Cooperation to mark Climate Week in Serbia

German Cooperation to mark Climate Week in Serbia

15 September 2023 - German Development Cooperation in Serbia will mark Climate Week. A series of events will be held from September 16 to September 23.

A1 brings Erin Brockovich to Belgrade

Telecommunications company A1 brings Erin Brockovich to Belgrade

15 September 2023 - Famous environmental activists Erin Brockovich was the special guest this year at the A1 Talk conference for the business community

Conference about the implementation of the ESG reporting strategy, September 26 in Belgrade

ESG in Business and Finance conference to be held on September 26 in Belgrade

14 September 2023 - The conference "ESG in Business and Finance: Challenges and Opportunities in Serbia" will be held on September 26th in Belgrade.