EC threatens Romania with fines over unsettled transport and environment issues

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The European Commission (EC) has urged Romania on Thursday to fully transpose the norms on setting up the infrastructure for alternative fuels, to tackle emissions from large combustion plants and also to observe the European Court of Justice on the extractive waste.

On transport, the EC has urged several member states, including Romania, to fully transpose the norms on setting up the infrastructure for alternative fuels (Directive 2014/94/EU). Greece, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the UK have two months to meet the commitments according to the directive. If not, the Commission may decide to notify the EU Court of Justice.

EC asks Romania to tackle emissions from large combustion plants

At the same time, the Commission has sent to the Romanian authorities an additional letter of formal notice, asking it to tackle emissions from large combustion plants, arguing that four industrial plants, Romania still do not have a permit ensuring that their emissions into air do not exceed the emission limit values set by EU law. The Industrial Emissions Directive (Directive 2010/75/EU) seeks to prevent, reduce and, as far as possible, eliminate pollution arising from industrial activities. The Directive contains specific permitting requirements for large combustion plants with maximum emission limit values for pollutant emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and dust.

Compliance with the EU Court of Justice ruling on extractive waste requird

The Commission also sent a letter of formal notice to our country over its failure to take any measures to comply with a Court of Justice of the EU’s judgment on mining waste. On 21 July 2016, the Court ruled in favour of the Commission and declared that Romania had failed to adopt appropriate measures to prevent the upheaval of dust from the surface of the Boșneag tailing pond. Especially during windy periods, this tailing pond is a major source of pollution and health threat for residents in nearby localities such as Moldova Nouă (Romania) or Veliko Gradište (Serbia). Under the Directive 2006/21/EC, Member States have to ensure that extractive waste is managed without endangering human health or harming the environment. The Directive prohibits the abandonment of extractive waste. In addition, the operator has to take adequate measures to prevent or reduce dust and gas emissions. If Romania fails to act within two months, the Commission may refer Romania back to the Court of Justice of the EU, in which case Romania will face fines.

 

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