SPAIN has paid a €22.355 million fine to the European Commission and there will be more to come.
Nine Spanish towns, each with a population of more than 15,000, were found not to be treating their wastewater in compliance with EU directives going back to 2001.
So far, only one has solved the problem.
Notification of the first fine arrived last summer and the government’s Ministry of the Environment calculates that these will continue to arrive until 2023 as the necessary modifications are unlikely to be completed until 2022.
Three of the culprits, Alhaurin el Grande, Coin and Nerja, are in Malaga and two – Tarifa and Barbate – are located in Cadiz. There are two more towns in Huelva, one in Gijon and another in Santacruz de Tenerife and between them all, they have a total of 379,000 residents.
Of the nine, only Tarifa is now treating its wastewater correctly and thanks to its improvements the EU fine was reduced by €595,000.