The Prosecution has in the spotlight the air pollution in the cities, whose main cause is to be found in the exhaust of gasoline vehicles and diesel. And the coordinator of the prosecutors of Environment and Urbanism, Antonio Vercher, considers that we can try to pursue criminal proceedings to the drivers of vehicles to “highly polluting” when decreten traffic restrictions for the high levels of pollution. So indicates in writing that the department that directs Vercher sent last week to the mayor of Madrid, coinciding with the episode of high concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which forced the team of the ruler, José Luis Martínez-Almeida (PP) to activate for the first time in his mandate on the level 1 of the protocol against pollution in the capital. For two days, due to this activation, the flow velocity in the M-30 and in the access roads in the interior of the M-40, in both senses, was limited to 70 kilometers per hour.
The prosecutor explained in his writing that article 325 of the Criminal Code, which refers to the environmental crime, allows you to apply a “broader approach” to try to tackle the problem of pollution, which has a “very negative impact” on public health. According to his interpretation, you can go beyond the perspective of merely administrative —fines— in this matter, and to use the criminal proceedings against the holders of high pollutant vehicles or their drivers. To do this, in the writing of the public Prosecutor who has accessed THE COUNTRY it is proposed to organize a “police patrols to control traffic during these peaks of pollution. Vercher poses to meet with officials of the City responsible for coordinating the actions and “designing an effective strategy”. Sources of the Prosecutor's office explained that the Consistory madrid responded this Monday favorably to this offer.
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this is Not the first time that Vercher intervenes by high levels of pollution and the lack of action against this serious problem of the Municipality of the capital. So did, for example, at the beginning of this decade when the team exregidor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón (PP) changed of place several measuring stations of the air quality of the city to be located in green areas. He did well when it opened in June of 2019 an investigation by the intention of the present City hall to disassemble, Madrid Central, the area of low emissions set in motion during the mandate of Manuela Carmena (of the political training and Now Madrid). In December, at a round table held on the occasion of the Climate Summit, Vercher recalled that during the previous mandate left open the door also to the team of Carmena to continue the criminal proceedings in the alleged more serious pollution”. But, as he regretted on that day, “there came to the Prosecutor's office nor a single complaint”.
In the notice referred now to the city Council the particular fiscal are some cases where you could expose the drivers or owners of vehicles criminally. The “pollution penalty” could “be fixed by such things as the fumes caused by the absence of the corresponding Technical Inspections of Vehicles (ITV), the defects in the engine which will result in increased polluting emissions...”. In addition, to urge that they believe “police patrols traffic control” for the moments of more pollution, the Prosecutor's office also makes it clear that “if considered necessary” shall “make use of the agents of the Seprona” —the ten that are seconded to his department— to perform those control tasks during the peaks of more pollution.
Vercher also remember the team of Martínez-Almeida from the mandate of Carmena there is an agent of the Local Police of Madrid, who carries out the work of coordination between city Hall and the Prosecutor's office of Environment. This “would enable fast reception of over-crowded” at the headquarters of the public ministry to initiate criminal proceedings if considered appropriate.
“it Is clear that the problem is becoming more pressing, and that it is necessary to deal with the cases more exponential circulation unacceptably polluting,” says Vercher in her writing about a problem that every year causes in the world, seven million premature deaths, as recalled recently by the World Health Organization. The WHO came out with that figure to step from a statement of the president of the Community of Madrid, which is also popular Isabel Diaz Ayuso, in which put in doubt the mortality associated with the pollution.
But the pollution is not only a health problem. The European Commission denounced to Spain in July for repeated breaches year to year the limits of nitrogen dioxide that set the community rules from a decade ago. Protocols against pollution peaks and two low-emission zones that both cities —and the neighbouring municipalities in the Catalan case— have been put in place are framed within the proceedings of the Commission. And what is predictable is that if it goes forward the climate change act all cities of over 50,000 inhabitants in Spain are obliged to have low-emission zones.Updated Date: 14 January 2020, 01:00