EU warns of legal action over air quality standards

EU warns of legal action over air quality standards
German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, right, greets EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella ahead of an EU ministerial meeting on air quality at EU headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top environment official has warned several member countries that they face legal action if they continue to flout the bloc’s air quality standards.

Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella said Tuesday that “we cannot go on postponing and delaying,” noting that some countries are still failing to meet deadlines set for 2005 and 2010.

His warning came after talks with representatives from Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.

Vella said some had proposed new measures to meet EU air quality standards governing particles levels from sources like vehicle exhausts or industry, but that at first view the measures appear insufficient.

He gave the countries until the end of next week to formally submit the proposals for EU Commission analysis.