The UK could be heading for a second and potentially expensive legal showdown with the European Commission over nitrate pollution it emerged today. The EU executive announced the first step of a repeat infringement action, saying London had still not complied with a European court of justice judgement delivered last year.
Under this the UK was condemned for failing to designate enough nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs) for special protection under the 1991 nitrates directive (EED 07/12/00). Whereas a first court ruling carries no specific penalty for member states, if the Commission were to secure a second conviction then the court could impose substantial daily fines until the breach was rectified.
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