The Country of Bulgaria is facing legal action from the European Commission over more than 100 illegal landfills, says a report from the Sofia News Agency. According to the report, the country came under intense scrutiny by the EC when it failed to comply with waste and landfill regulations and put its residents and resources at risk.
The European Union’s Landfill Directive required the compliance of health and resource protection regulations of each of the 130 landfills in question. A July 2009 deadline was set to enforce compliance, but while the compliance requirements were never met, the landfills continued to operate, breaching the EU’s directives. In the spring of 2012, 124 of the 130 landfills continued to operate illegally outside of the regulations, putting the health of locals and the environment in jeopardy. A recent report from the EC says that 113 of those 130 original landfills are continuing to operate illegally.
In order to speed up the closure of the illegal landfill operations in Bulgaria, the EC has filed suit against the country in the European Union Court of Justice. The suit requires not only the closure of the unlawful landfills, but EU approved cleanup methods for each one as well.
As would be expected, environmental activists applaud the EC’s decision to take legal action against the country.
Bulgarian officials say that they expect to construct 23 new, EU-compliant landfills by July of 2015. However, the EC is demanding a timelier schedule.