The Serbian Environment Ministry on Thursday placed responsibility for the country’s air pollution problem at the feet of local authorities saying that they had an obligation to deal with the problem under the law.
The ministry said it was taking measures and looking for possible solutions both within its own competencies and elsewhere.
A ministry statement recalled that the Law on Protecting the Air says that local authorities are under obligation to draw up short- and long-term plans for air quality and implement measures in line with those plans. The ministry said that warnings had been issued to local authorities several times along with demands for reports.
“Of the 145 local authorities contacted, 66 municipal and city administrations have filed reports with 29 of them saying they would monitor air quality in 2020, 16 saying they would plan measures and activities and 21 saying they were not monitoring air quality nor were drawing up plans,” the statement said.
It added that inspectors filed charges in 13 cases following inspections in facilities producing toxic gases. It said that small heating plants have to be shut down, fuels changed, thermal power plants upgraded and the import of vehicles with Euro 3 engines banned to reduce air pollution levels.