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Air pollution: EU warns of ‘serious situation’

Air quality levels “in breach of limit values set by the Ambient Air Quality Directive,” especially in Barcelona and Madrid

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10 July 2019 06:37 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Karmenu Vella, a member of the European Commission, has sent Spain’s acting minister for ecological transition, Teresa Ribera, a letter in which he urges Spain to implement additional measures to combat air pollution since nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels “continue to be in breach of the limit values set by the Ambient Air Quality Directive.”

The highest levels of air pollution in Spain are concentrated in Barcelona and Madrid, for which the minister forwarded the letter to the Catalan Ministry of Territory and Sustainability as well as the Madrid city council that recently made headlines for attempting to undue the former Madrid council’s low-emission zone in the city center.

Describing current measures as “not sufficient” for tackling existent levels of pollution, Vella reminded the minister that Spain had said it would comply with the European air quality limit levels by 2020.

In his letter, Vella stated that “all stakeholders across all the relevant levels of governance should be mobilized” in order to protect the local population’s health.

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  • Barcelona's Sagrada Família surrounded by smog on July 1, 2019 (Nazaret Romero/ACN)

  • Barcelona's Sagrada Família surrounded by smog on July 1, 2019 (Nazaret Romero/ACN)

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