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EU Fines Sweden $2.5M For Unlicensed Polluters

(CN) - The European Court of Justice slapped Sweden with a nearly $2.5 million fine for disobeying a 2012 order to crack down on high-pollution industries.

After EU lawmakers passed a law in 2008 requiring member states to start licensing industrial activities with a high potential for pollution, the European Commission sued Sweden over 29 installations that had not been properly permitted.

The EU high court ordered Sweden to comply in 2012. But in 2013, regulators found that two installations were still operating without a license and sued again.

Although one of the industries has since obtained its permit, the Luxembourg-based court held Thursday that the delay to fully comply with its order mandated a $2.48 million fine.

Additionally, the court ordered Sweden to pay a $5,000 penalty for each day that the remaining installation goes without a license.

The high court gave Sweden kudos for cooperating with the commission during the investigation, and the fact that the industry posed a minimal danger to human health and the environment warranted a relatively small fine - by EU standards - the court said.

An English version of the opinion was not made available.


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