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Internal Market: Norway to be brought to court over air pollution



The air quality in a number of Norwegian cities and densely populated areas is not in line with EEA rules on air quality and cleaner air. Therefore, the EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today to bring the matter before the EFTA Court.

EEA legislation, in particular the Ambient Air Quality Directive, has established legally binding limits for certain pollutants present in the air, like PM10, SO2 and NO2, which may pose a serious threat to public health. Where these limits are exceeded, public authorities are required to develop concrete plans setting out how air quality can be improved. In Norway, this responsibility is placed at the municipality level.

Air pollution is a widespread problem across the EEA, particularly in big cities, where emissions from diesel cars are a major contributor to poor air quality. The European Commission is currently pursuing similar infringement proceedings against several EU Member States.

In Norway, it is the larger cities in particular that are struggling to reduce air pollution. The reported levels of pollution in a number of areas across the country are too high. In 2013, the Authority began infringement proceedings against Norway following a complaint from the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association.

Although there has been some action in Norway to address air pollution, EEA requirements are not being fulfilled within a reasonable timeframe. Consequently, the Authority has decided to refer the case to the EFTA Court.

More information


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187


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