Britain has been referred to the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg by European Union regulators over the failure of a coal-fired plant in Wales, operated by RWE npower, to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
Member states had until 1 January 2008 to reduce emissions of a number of pollutants from power plants, under EU law.
The Aberthaw power plant in Wales does not meet the requirement of the directive as it operates under a permit that sets a limit on nitrogen oxides of 1200 mg/Nm3 (milligrams per cubic metre), more than double the 500 mg/Nm3 limit set in the directive, the Commission said.
In a statement, the EU executive noted the British government had been working on the issue, but said it had first raised its concerns formally in 2013 and was now referring the case to the highest EU court in Luxembourg.
Nitrogen oxides cause acid rain, damaging plant and animal life in forests, lakes and rivers, and harming buildings and historical sites.
They can also cause eutrophication, when an excess of nutrients such as nitrogen oxides and ammonia threatens biodiversity through the excessive growth of plants like algae.
The European Court of Justice has the power to hand out daily fines if it finds in favour of the Commission.
Edited from source by Joseph Green
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