An estimated 50,000 Britons die prematurely each year from diseases caused by air pollutants such as fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, according to the review.
“In principle it could start later this year, but first we have to decide on a referral to court,” an EU source said. “Your goal is always to get them [infringing countries] to comply without taking them to court.”
The Guardian understands that a “reasoned opinion” will now be sent on 15 February to the UK and four other countries: Germany, France, Italy and Spain. If a satisfactory response is not received within two months, a case at the European court could follow.
Britain has been in breach of EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits since 2010, with London overshooting its annual air pollution limit for the whole of 2017 in just the first five days.
An EU review has revealed multiple failings by the UK in applying environmental #law, on the same day that the commission escalated its action against Britain for breaching air pollution limits.