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Exceedance of Limit Values for Fine Dust Particles: Violation of Community Law before German Courts

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

Fine dust limit values are being exceeded in many German cities. For this reason citizens living on particularly polluted roads have been taking legal action to enforce the adoption of action plans and immediate measures to reduce road traffic. Most of the early decisions by the German Administrative Courts have dismissed any rights of citizens to enforce the adoption of action plans or independent measures. These decisions have not followed the requirements of Community law regarding access by individuals to the national courts as prescribed by the ECJ because they deprive claimants in Germany of locus standi, and thereby prevent individuals from enforcing the limit values for fine dust particles in Germany. If German citizens are not allowed the right to claim legal protection, infringement proceedings against Germany are necessary. It is evident that sanctions pursuant to Article 11 of Directive 1999/30/EG do not exist in Germany. The analysis shows that there is an evident a conflict between EC law and German administrative law as applied by the German courts.


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