UK could face Heathrow pollution action
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UK could face Heathrow pollution action

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Daily fines could be imposed on the UK government after air pollution at London's Heathrow Airport exceeded limits outlined in the European Union's (EU) 2008 Air Quality Directive.

Nitrogen dioxide levels around the airport are currently above the levels allowed by the directive, which came into force on 1 January and requires all EU member states to comply with standards. A formal complaint has now been submitted by Geraldine Nicholson, chair of the No Third Runway Action Group, to EU environment commissioner, Stavros Dimas calling for action to be taken against the government.

Nicholson said: "Not only have ministers done nothing to reduce pollution they now want to build a third runway that can only make it worse. This shows a complete disregard for the law and the wellbeing of local people. "We are calling on the Commissioner to take immediate action to enforce EU law and protect the health of people who live around the airport."

Wandsworth Council's Edward Lister, speaking on behalf of the 2M Group of local authorities opposed to expanding Heathrow, added: "Ministers have got themselves into a right muddle. They know they are breaking EU law and damaging the health of UK citizens yet they are still hell-bent on building a third runway." Meanwhile, the London Assembly's environment committee has warned that the government's safeguards to limit the impact of a third runway at Heathrow may not be adequate to cope with an anticipated extra 125,000 flights each year.

Committee chair Murad Qureshi said: "Our investigation has raised grave concerns about some of these safeguards, including clear inadequacies in approaches to tackling air pollution levels around Heathrow."

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Daily fines could be imposed on the UK government after air pollution at London's Heathrow Airport exceeded limits outlined in the European Union's (EU) 2008 Air Quality Directive.
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