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8 Dec 2021

Madalin Necsutu, BalkanInsight

Romania ignoring scale of pollution to avoid sanctions, activist claims

3 December 2021

A leading environmental activist in Romania, Octavian Berceanu, told...that Romanian authorities do not want to collect accurate data on the amount of air pollution in the country because sanctions would be triggered.

“Once the level of pollution in Romania was shown, other sanctions would follow,” he said, referencing European Commission decisions to refer Romania to the Court of Justice of the European Union in two cases – for failing to comply with EU rules to tackle industrial pollution, and adopt an air pollution control programme...

In the first case, the Commission argues that Romania has not ensured that three industrial plants operate with a valid permit under the Industrial Emissions Directive (Directive 2010/75/EU) to prevent or reduce pollution. Secondly, Romania has not adopted a national air pollution control programme under Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on reducing national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants...

...[S]ome countries are moving faster than others towards the goals. Three industrial plants in Romania do not have a permit yet to ensure that their air emissions do not exceed the emission limit values set by EU law, although the EU’s directives are mandatory in this regard...