Romania facing heavy fines for non-ecological landfills, minister says
Romania’s environment minister Mircea Fechet recently stated that Romania risks sanctions amounting to tens of millions of euros due to non-ecological landfills.
Fechet explained that after being convicted in 2018 by the European Court of Justice for not ecologizing industrial landfills, hazardous waste, or municipal waste dumps, Romania has been reported again for still having 33 non-ecologized such sites. In most cases, the companies that own the dumps do not have the financial means to carry out the necessary steps.
"Unfortunately, the Romanian state inherited a series of environmental problems from the communist era. Part of these problems, which are the subject of this very famous case, is the C301 case from 2018, where the Romanian state was already convicted. The European Court of Justice judged that we did not fulfill the environmental obligation to ecologize those landfills. We are talking about old municipal dumps, industrial dumps, and hazardous waste dumps,” said Fechet, cited by G4Media.
The minister also highlighted that 101 non-ecologized landfills were initially identified, but that most of them were closed in the meantime. The remaining landfills, however, are very large and their owners are either bankrupt or have filed for insolvency.
"At this moment, while we are still in the process of closing these landfills, there is a risk of a new conviction, and the bigger problem than the conviction itself is that, most likely, this new conviction will attract some pecuniary sanctions," Mircea Fechet added.
The minister explained that the financial sanctions applied to Romania will be determined based on the date the Romanian state was put in default, namely in 2019. The fines will be calculated until the day when the last of the 33 landfills is ecologized, which will take years. Fechet also said that the sanctions "can reach tens of millions of euros."