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    The announcement made by the European Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallstrom, that Spain is among five countries currently being targeted by the European Commission for failure to meet EU air quality and emission control legislation, is strongly welcomed by the ESG and GONHS. The complaint lodged by the local environmental groups last November is outlining precisely these issues.


    The statement refers to Spain’s failure to provide information about carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) for the past 2 years and reductions achieved in this time. Greece, Italy and Portugal are included in this category. Spain, together with these other countries, has been issued with a “Letter of Formal Notice” requesting that the missing information be submitted by a specified date, usually two months. Should this information not materialise the European Union would then issue a “Reasoned Opinion”, or a final written warning, to the member state. A further 2 months is provided for the member state to comply after which legal action could be taken.


    The ESG and GONHS view this as validating their complaint and substantiating the common view in the bay area that the levels of pollution emitted by the heavy industries is almost certainly illegal and unacceptable by European and International Standards.