EU Commission urges Romania to close illegal landfills, protect population against air pollution

The European Commission urged Romania on Thursday to close illegal landfills and protect its population against air pollution. Romania must close, seal and ecologically restore 48 illegal landfills, the European Commission said in its May infringement package, according to

Romania was obliged to close and rehabilitate substandard landfills by July 16 2009, but due to slow progress, the Commission referred the matter to the EU Court of Justice in February 2017. By January 2020, most of the necessary work for the closure, sealing and regeneration of the rest of the 48 landfill sites had not yet been planned, approved or initiated. Therefore, the Commission decided to address a letter of formal notice to Romania, which now has four months to remedy the situation.

The Commission is also calling on Romania to comply with the EU requirements for ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe and reliably measure, inform the public and report about the gravity of air pollution.

In particular, Romania has failed to comply with the limit values for nitrogen dioxide in the agglomerations of Bucharest, Brașov, Iași, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara, and has not taken appropriate measures to keep exceedance periods as short as possible. Romania has four months to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings, otherwise, the EC may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

The Commission has also sent a reasoned opinion to Romania urging authorities to take the necessary measures for the development of a new IT system for monitoring the circulation of excise goods such as alcohol, tobacco and energy products.  According to the EC, Romania is already running an outdated version of the IT system and has not taken the necessary measures to use the new version. Romania’s failure to act in time could have serious internal market consequences, as excise goods would normally only be allowed to circulate with duty paid to or from Romania and could also harm all the other member states who need to send and receive administrative information from Romania, the EC stressed. If Romania does not act within the next four months, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Also as part of the May infringement package, the Commission has sent letters of formal notice on Romania and other member states, calling on them to correctly apply EU rules on road safety traffic information, on real-time traffic information services, on the provision of EU-wide multimodal travel information services, as well as on information services for safe and secure parking places. Finally, EC sent another letter of formal notice to Romania and ten other member states urging them to comply with EU rules on the provision of data link services.

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