Air Pollution in Munich Exceeds EU Limit, Prompting Calls for Action
BERLIN Munich has become the first German city to violate a new European Union guideline on air pollution, authorities said Monday, prompting calls for quick action to combat emissions.
Bavaria's state environmental protection authority said the quantity of soot in the city's air exceeded 50 micrograms per cubic meter on Sunday for the 36th time this year.
The guideline, which came into force Jan. 1, stipulates that the limit should not be exceeded for more than 35 days a year. Other German cities, including Duesseldorf and Frankfurt, are close to the limit.
Environment Minister Juergen Trittin said in a weekend interview with the daily Die Welt that local authorities in cities close to exceeding the limit must present plans for action to the EU's executive Commission. Failure to comply with the rules, he said, could eventually lead to legal action from Brussels.
He called on Germany's state governments to speed up plans to fit vehicles with filters that remove noxious particles from diesel exhaust, which, along with industrial emissions, are a major source of the pollution.
Deutsche Umwelthilfe, an environmental group, said it would go to a Munich court later this week to seek emergency measures to protect citizens' health, such as road closures for heavy vehicles.
Source: Associated Press