[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment] Wednesday that a power plant in Wales has violated the EU’s limit on nitrogen oxide emissions. The Aberthaw plant [official website] has operated [Reuters report] for 45 years and primarily uses Welsh coal as its fuel source. In 2008 the EU forced member states to reduce their emissions to meet new environmental standards. Though Britain argued that the plant’s use of Welsh coal should allow for a greater emissions limit, the European Commission [official website] nevertheless brought Britain to court in March 2015. Due to the EU court’s ruling, Britain will be required to reduce the plant’s emissions and pay all imposed fines and legal costs. German utility company RWE [corporate website], operator of the plant, expressed disappointment in the ruling and declared its intention to continue improving the plant’s environmental status into the next decade. The Welsh government also stated it will continue to address the area’s air quality.
Environmental destruction has been an issue plaguing much of the world, including the US. Last week a policy paper was published detailing how the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] will work to prosecute environmental crimes [JURIST report]. Earlier this month environmentalists sued [JURIST report] the US Environmental Protection Agency regarding federal water quality standards. In March Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan was served with a class action lawsuit [JURIST report] over the water contamination in Flint, Michigan. In February BP supervisors were found not guilty [JURIST report] of a Clean Water Act violation after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Also in February the Supreme Court blocked [JURIST report] the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In January, a Hungarian court acquitted [JURIST report] 15 employees of the Mal Corp for their role in the toxic red sludge spill that killed 10 people in 2010 after a reservoir burst. Also in January, Brazil’s Federal Police accused seven people and three companies of environmental crimes [JURIST report] in its probe into the major Fundão dam collapse that occurred on November 5.