Commission Asks Poland to Act on Air Pollution
"The European Commission is asking Poland to comply with EU legislation requiring Member States to limit citizens' exposure to fine dust particles (PM10) by defining specific limit values to be observed. Tiny PM10 particles can cause asthma, cardiovascular problems, lung cancer, and premature death. In Poland, they originate mostly in emissions from coal for domestic heating, traffic, and industry. The latest figures from Poland show that the maximum daily limits for these particles is being exceeded in 36 zones, with yearly limits also being exceeded in 12 zones. Under EU law, Member States are obliged to take all the necessary measures to improve air quality, and to make this information available in form of air quality plans. The Commission believes that Poland has failed to take appropriate measures that should have been in place since 2005 to protect citizens' health, and is asking for forward-looking, speedy and effective action to keep the period of non-compliance as short as possible. Today's action, an additional reasoned opinion, gives Poland two months to respond. If the Member State fails to act within the prescribed period, the Commission may take the matter to the EU Court of Justice."