According to EU legislation, each Member state is responsible for assessing the air quality within their territory. As such, they are responsible of limiting the exposure of their citizens to polluting substances.
Despite the fact that measures have been taken, such as the Low-emission-zone (LEZ) initiation, Belgium has failed to comply with the Union’s air quality legislation.
The European Commission has stated that Belgium has exceeded the binding limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) -which is a pollutant gas- in the Brussels region since their entry into force in 2010. On Thursday, the Commission started an infringement procedure against Belgium as a criticism for not complying with the Union’s air quality legislation. The first step of the infringement procedure was a formal letter of notice, which could eventually lead to financial penalties. If Belgian authorities fail to respond within two months, the Commission may decide to follow up by sending a reasoned opinion.
The agglomeration of Antwerp has also failed to meet the authorized values despite the deadline for entry into force being much later in 2015.