National Audit Office Says in Report That Poor Air Quality in Bulgaria is Due to Energy Poverty of Population
119 ENVIRONMENT-AMBIENT AIR QUALITY-REPORT
National Audit Office Says in Report That
Poor Air Quality in Bulgaria is Due to
Energy Poverty of Population
Sofia, January 30 (BTA) - An audit report of the National Audit Office published on the website of the institution at www.bulnao.government.bg, says that for the period 2009-2017 Bulgaria did not have an adopted national strategy on environmental protection covering the main goals and principles of the Environmental Protection Act.
The main conclusion of the report is that the government policy about ambient air quality is in line with the relevant legal requirements and the requirements to Bulgaria under EU directives and international agreements.
The report says that the poor air quality in Bulgaria is due to the energy poverty of the population, and that a main source of pollution is household heating. Heating benefits are provided to low-income people but no measures are envisaged for the provision of environmentally-friendly fuels and improvement of the ambient air quality in the big cities.
The national and local measures do not address the main sources of pollution: house heating with solid fuel, old vehicles and infrastructure, which are a challenge to the effectiveness and efficiency of the measures that have been undertaken to tackle poor air quality.
On Wednesday, the European Court of Auditors published a report on air quality jointly prepared by 14 European audit offices, the Bulgarian office including. The report says that many European countries are failing to comply with international and European standards on air quality. Moreover, many governments have failed to take effective action to improve air quality and hence to protect their citizensТ health. The aim of the audit was to ascertain whether the governments of the countries in question were taking action to improve the air quality. The participants in the joint audit were the national audit offices in Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland, together with the European Court of Auditors.
The joint audit found wide discrepancies between the 15 countries covered by the audit. At one end of the scale was Estonia, which was found to comply with all the relevant standards. At the other end were Poland and Bulgaria, two countries that the European Commission recently brought before the European Court of Justice on account of their continued failure to meet the limit values. LY/ZH//