Belching Welsh Coal Plant Found to Violate EU Law

     (CN) — Europe’s highest court agreed with the European Commission Wednesday that the United Kingdom didn’t limit pollution emissions from the Aberthaw power station in south Wales as required by EU law.
     A 2012 commission investigation found that Aberthaw pumped out more than twice the legal limit of toxic nitrogen oxides over a seven-year period. Britain allowed the power station to burn more nitrogen oxides than other plants because Welsh coal is harder to burn than coal from other nations. However, the court found that RWE Generation, which runs the plant, should not have been allowed to exceed specially negotiated pollution limits.
     And while the British government argued that they were continuing to make investments to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide the plant releases into the atmosphere, the Luxembourg-based high court found that Aberthaw released more than twice the quantity of nitrogen oxide its permit allowed between 2008 and 2011.
     “On average, pollution from Aberthaw is responsible for curtailing the lives of 67 people in Wales every year. This is equivalent to 64 percent of the death toll on Welsh roads, yet there is no special strategy for securing the accelerated final closure of the plant,” Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth said in a joint report.
     Aberthaw is scheduled to be downgraded in 2017 due to market conditions.
     The high court also ordered Britain to pay the commission’s costs related to the investigation and lawsuit.

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