The EC decided to ask the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial penalty for unrecovered municipal landfills

15 Jul, 2021 | 16:43

Today, the European Commission (EC) sent a letter to Bulgaria, stating that the country will face the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) to pay huge financial penalties due to failure to restore 43 landfills for non-hazardous waste.

The Court of Justice of the EU ruled against Bulgaria in July 2015 for its failure to close old municipal landfills that do not comply with European legislation. The country was convicted for 113 municipal landfills, which were not closed by July 2009 and continued to operate at that time.

In fulfillment of the commitments made by Bulgaria to the EC after the first Court decision, all 113 landfills were closed by 2017, but those were supposed to be restored by December 31st, 2020. At present, 6 years after the ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU, the municipalities have not yet rehabilitated these landfills.

Funding for this process is provided by the EMEPA and OPE.

The Ministry of Environment and Water will send letters to the mayors of these municipalities, who have not yet fulfilled their commitments under the court ruling, to complete the restoration of the landfills by the end of July.

If this is not done by the municipalities, they will be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU for financial penalties.

It should be noted that the penalties are both one-off and daily and are extremely large, as can be deduced from the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU.

In addition, today the EC took a decision to close the fourth, i.e. the last infringement procedure against Bulgaria from the Circular Economy package. Under this package, Bulgaria has finally fulfilled its commitment to transpose into its national legislation the European requirements under the Waste Framework Directive, in relation to packaging waste, as well as specific waste from end-of-life vehicles, batteries, accumulators, electrical and electronic equipment.


List of municipalities included in the EC letter:

Veliko Tarnovo, Samokov, Tran, Kazanlak, Roman, Breznik, Pordim, Chirpan, Galabovo, Treklyano, Belogradchik, Gulyantsi, Kostenets, Nevestino (depot 1), Nevestino (depot 2), Pavlikeni, Polski Trambesh, Zemen, Bratovo, Batak, Dimovo, Velingrad, Koprivshtitsa, Elena, Stara Zagora, Nikopol, Pirdop, Rila, Sapareva Banya, Pleven, Boboshevo, Belovo, Kocherinovo, Chuprene, Radomir, Kamenar, Byala (Varna), Tryavna, Pernik, Dupnitsa, and the villages of Visegrad (Kardzhali), Zvezdets, and Gramatikovo.