Spain faces massive EU fine over lack of water treatment on the costas

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© Junta de Andalucia
LAGGING BEHIND: The treatment plant in Nerja has suffered a slew of delays.

SPAIN faces astronomical European Union (EU) sanctions of “at least” €46.5 million after failing to provide wastewater treatment for 17 towns and villages, several of which are located on the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical.

The threat comes five years after the EU Court of Justice slammed Spanish authorities because there remained 37 municipalities with more than 15,000 inhabitants that did not purify wastewater, rather dumping it into local rivers or the sea.

“The lack of an adequate level of collection and treatment of wastewater poses significant risks to human health, inland waters and the marine environment,” reads their official stance on the matter.

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The European Commission has now tired of waiting for Spain to fix the problem, since 17 of the towns still have no treatment facilities and continue to pollute the environment.

It is now requesting that a fine of €46.5 million be issued, plus additional charges of €171,217 per day should the required infrastructure not be in place by the date set for the judges’ second resolution.

Locally, San Pedro de Alcantara, Estepona, Alhaurin el Grande, Coin and Nerja are the guilty parties, with the latter in particular pouring untreated sewage into the sea with no prior filtering.

Construction of Nerja’s treatment plant began in January 2014, but there have been a raft of delays and other obstacles which suggest that the operational target of mid-2017 is speculative at best.

In Estepona, work began in 2010 at a projected cost of €30.1 million but the project remains in limbo due to a lack of funds, while completion of the lower Guadalhorce plant, intended to serve Coin, Alhaurin el Grande, Alora and Pizarra is unresolved due to ‘discussions’ between the Junta de Andalucia and Malaga City Council following a decade of paralysis.

Other offending municipalities in Andalucia include Matalascañas, Isla Cristina, Tarifa and Barbate, with the remainder in Galicia, Asturias, Valencia and the Canary Islands.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Rumour has it that Spain is behind with its payments into the EU club.Is there anybody out there that seriously believes that Spain will pay this fine? (where does the money go if the fine is paid?).And yet Spain was very much against Brexit ! And if this fine should be paid,will it show up on the balance sheet of the EU?
    The EU does not open their books to anyone,does this mean that no books are kept?No country or company in the western world could get away with this!

  2. I’ve been going to Spain for years while they have tried to clean it up a bit and the work on the sewage treatment plant in Nerja is on going it’s still not great I usually head f lakes or swimming pools if I can see shit in the water it is really bad in late July to late august.

  3. Harry, you are right!! We should make a petition to oblige the EU to open up their books!

    Spain should also pay fines for not respecting the environmental rules; in the Comunidad Valenciana they still burn in the open green wast and add plastic, frigot
    lith and what ever they are to lazy to bring to the bins!
    This coast is called Costa Blanca and I wonder if the word Blanca refers to the white smoke that one can see nearly every day (even Sunday’s!!) all along the coastal area! It’s disgusting to have to inhale the fumes were so many turist and residents live. They burn even close to schools, hospitals, hotels etc….
    I have tried to contact the EU about this but they just are useless!!

  4. It’s just right to be given penalty when proper procedures aren’t followed for the safety of the citizens. I believe that water safety is very crucial because water contamination can cause health hazards if not treated well. The state should consider the health of the citizens first before anything else.

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