Seized by several environmental defense associations, the Council of State ordered on July 12, 2017 the French State to implement plans to reduce the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particles (PM10) in 13 areas in France, in order to comply with the European directive on air quality.
In August 2021, after inspection and finding that the French State was unable to lower the levels of pollution to the thresholds required according to the European directive, it was sentenced to a first penalty payment of 10 million euros for the first half of the year.
One year later, after analysis of the new elements provided by the ministry responsible for ecology, the Council of State once again condemns the French State on September 17, 2022, to pay two new penalty payments for the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022, i.e. a total amount of 20 million euros.
However, improvements have been observed over time, but the pollutant limit thresholds (which must be respected since 2010) remain exceeded in several areas in France, particularly in large agglomerations such as Grenoble, Marseille, Lyon and Paris, said the Council of State in a press release.
“To date, the measures taken by the State in no way guarantee the improvement of air quality so that the pollution limit thresholds are respected in the shortest possible time”, estimates the highest administrative court.
The sum will be distributed between the association Les Amis de la Terre, which initially seized the Council of State in 2017 and several organizations / associations fighting against air pollution.
Following this decision, the Council of State will re-examine in 2023 the actions of the State carried out from the second half of 2022 (July 2022-January 2023).