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European Justice fines Spain with 12 million for debugging its sewage

The country must pay 11 million more every six months while nine locations remain unfulfilled by the Community standard

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European Justice fines Spain with 12 million for debugging its sewage

Spain has been sentenced on Wednesday by Court of Justice of European Union to pay a penalty of 12 million for non-compliance with Community directive on purification of urban wastewater. In particular, defaults referred to in sentence are in 17 municipalities or urbanizations of more than 15,000 inhabitants that from 2001 had to purify ir waters well.

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  • Spain faces a millionaire fine for cleansing urban waters badly

The court also condemns Spain to pay anor 11 million of euros every six months as long as problems are not resolved in all cases. Today, according to European Commission and Tribunal, in nine of those 17 cases problems have not been solved. These are mainly localities of Andalusia, although re is also a case of Canary Islands and or in Asturias.

The European Court stresses that " particularly prolonged nature of offence constitutes an aggravating circumstance". He adds: "In accordance with information provided by Spain, full implementation of sentence will not occur before year 2019, which is equivalent to a delay of 18 years in relation to deadline set" directive that Spain has failed.

The sanction comes after European Commission sued Spain in April 2017, following a myriad of notices, summons and even a conviction, albeit without a fine, of same tribunal in 2011. That sentence referred to non-compliance in 37 agglomerations.

Spain has opened several files for non-compliance with European directive on urban wastewater treatment, which dates back to 1991. But case on which Wednesday has been pronounced EU Court of Justice refers to urban agglomerations of more than 15,000 inhabitants – rule is more or less strict depending on size of localities. The 1991 directive stipulated that municipalities of more than 15,000 inhabitants had to comply with a number of requirements on collectors and treatment to prevent uncontrolled wastewater from vertieran to rivers or seas. And deadline that was given was December 1, 2000.

But Spain did not meet in 2001 or 2010. The European Commission n sued country before EU Court of Justice. And Spain was sentenced in 2011 for breach in 37 agglomerations of more than 15,000 inhabitants. But that first sentence, as is case in EU's sanctioning processes, did not entail any fines. The Commission gave Spain a new deadline for se 37 municipalities to comply with directive of 1991. The deadline expired on 31 July 2013, but 17 agglomerations – with an approximate population of 1.4 million – remained uncleaned correctly, explained Commission's sources.

Brussels has waited almost four more years to bring Spain to justice. But, after finding "deficient progress recorded," he sued Spain in April 2017. And this time Commission called for a "flat-rate" sanction that amounted to more than 50 million euros. In addition, as long as problems persist in all reported locations, Brussels requested a daily fine of 171,217.2 euros.

At moment, according to Commission, nine out of 17 agglomerations have not finished purification works. In some cases, debuggers must only resolve administrative permissions to enter into operation. In or cases, more complicated, works have not even begun.

The 17 locations affected

The 17 urban agglomerations of more than 15,000 inhabitants for which Spain was brought before EU Court of Justice are:

Andalusia. San Pedro de Alcantara, Nerja and Barbate, Isla Cristina, Tarifa, El Grande, Estepona.

Asturias. Gijón East.

Galicia. Santiago de Compostela, Aguiño-race-Ribeira y Vigo.

Valencian Community. Benicarló, Peñíscola and Teulada-Moraira.

Canary Islands. Norast (Valle Guerra) and Güímar Valley.

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  • Spain faces a millionaire fine for cleansing urban waters badly

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