The law case in which Romania is being sued because it has not taken steps to eliminate the toxic air in Bucharest has officially begun on Monday, as the Environment Ministry received from the Court of Justice of the EU a several hundred pages reasoning for this situation.
In the case of a conviction, Romania will pay between EUR 100,000 and EUR 400,000 for every day it does not solve the problem, given that it is about the health of citizens. But the money will be paid, in fact, by the victims, i.e. from the Bucharest city hall budget, ziare.com reports.
The Bucharest City Hall states that “the situation in which the Bucharest municipality is involved in the infringement procedure opened by the European Commission against Romania regarding the air quality was caused by the non-observance of the air quality conditions imposed by the European legislation in a period before the current mandate. Thus, in the capital city, since 2007, have been recorded daily values exceeding the average concentrations for suspension powders PM10, which means that the sanction applicable to Romania by the European Court of Justice refers to the period prior to the current mandate. (7 years of non-compliance during 2007-2014),” the release reads.
The same source informs that one of the decisions promised by the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, during the election campaign in 2016, was to eliminate the environment stamp. The consequence is that in 2017 Romania has become a graveyard for polluting vehicles.
The NGOs Transport&Environment and 2Celsius have conducted a survey revealing that, in 2017, Romania imported almost 520,000 second-hand cars, more than 70% of them with polluting diesel engines. It was a higher level among the other countries in the region (one third in Bulgaria and 40% in Poland).
About 80% of the diesel cars were manufactured before 2011, i.e. before the Euro 5 standards.
The NO2 emissions from such diesel engines are over 12.5 times above the current limit set by the Euro 6 norms, meaning 1,014 mg/km instead of 80 mg/km.