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Tuesday 22.05.2018 | Name days: Emīlija
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Riga can be fined half a million euro for poor quality air

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULast week, air quality was regarded good enough in Riga City Center, however dust particle concentration threshold was exceeded in three days of the period during March 14 and 21, reaching already 20 out of 30 acceptable excessive dust particles concentration in a year.

Riga City Council Housing and Environment Department, Air and Water departure specialist Jānis Klepers says most often the concentration is high due to stable weather conditions and slight breeze, with pollution from road transport, heating, economic activities lingering over the city for several days in a row.

The European Commission (EC) has warned Latvia if the air quality does not improve both action can be brought against the state and a fine of can be imposed.

The fine can reach up to half a million euro, Klepers says, adding that if Latvia does not succeed in convincing the EC it is carrying out strict measures to improve air quality, the minimum fine to be imposed hits 75 000 euro, with penalty payment for delays reaching 493 up to 29 568 a day, since the day the ruling was announced up to the moment the violation is done away.

The first formal statement from the EC was received on January 29, 2010, followed by Latvia promising to implement a bunch of measures to improve the existing poor quality air in Riga. However, these turned out to be mere promises, as the necessary measures were not allocated any funds.

The EC sent another letter reminding Latvia has not been meeting its commitments with regard EU regulations and suggesting to come up with a new action plan to boost air quality by June 11, 2011.

The Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry is appealing to Riga Council draft an action plan as soon as possible.

At the moment it is difficult to fight the pollution, because the snow has not yet completely melted and the streets are full of salt and sand. Moreover, dust particles concentration is especially high during calm weather conditions and intense traffic. Thus it is expected along with the upcoming spring, air quality in Riga will worsen. Similarly, the traditional habit of Latvians – burning of old grass – will add to the poor air quality as well.

There is only one external factor contributing to the bad air quality in Riga – the consequences of forest fires in Moscow.

Riga Council Traffic department is currently drafting a new plan of tacking air pollution. It provides cleaning curbs, when the snow melts, and watering streets in summer time.


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  1. Pop says:

    You can literally see the dust in Riga streets in sunny days.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. AC says:

    People should start also driving less and more responsible and stop leaving their engines run for a long time just to sit in a warm car.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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