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Water Quality Violations: EU has Greece under pressure

Greece is under pressure from the European Commission to stop delays and solve the problem of nitrate pollution in its waters.

Last week, the European Commission asked the European Supreme Court to fine Greece for its continued failure to protect its waters from agricultural nitrate pollution. EU law requires member states to monitor their waters and identify those at risk of nitrate pollution from agricultural runoff. They must also designate land areas discharged into these waters as nitrate vulnerable areas and develop methods to reduce or prevent pollution. As of 2011, Greece has not designated some nitrate vulnerable areas, nor has it formulated a mandatory “action plan” for these areas. The European Commission formally notified the Greek authorities and started infringement lawsuits. In 2015, the European Court of Justice ruled that Greece violated EU law.

Since then, Greece has designated 12 new nitrate vulnerable areas, but has not formulated an action plan for them, nor has it provided any instructions.

As the committee said, “Four years have passed, and the problem is still not completely resolved.” Now, the committee has sent the case back to the court. It requires the court to impose financial sanctions on Greece in accordance with EU policy. It requires a daily fine of approximately 2,600 euros per day since Greece failed to comply with the ruling in 2015, provided that Greece did comply with the ruling before the court again ruled the case. If Greece does not comply with the next court ruling, the committee hopes to increase the fine by nearly ten times to approximately 23,700 thousand euros per day.



with information from: https://www.circleofblue.org/2019/world/water-quality-concerns-in-greece/?fbclid=IwAR1KGt5qoaCJRpyqVVgIOLxzkU-T11Fz14fStH9s_V1BWfPzFDI2FZ5ezoo

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