Bulgaria To Close, Remediate 37 Landfills by June 2015

Bulgaria To Close, Remediate 37 Landfills by June 2015

Bulgaria plans to close and remediate 37 municipal landfills that do not meet the relevant legal requirements by June 2015, the environment ministry said.

The required funding is estimated at 97.6 million levs ($64.1 million/49.9 million euro) and will be provided from the European Regional Development Fund and Bulgaria's state budget, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement follows an announcement made by the European Commission on Wednesday in which it said a reasoned opinion has been issued against Bulgaria for lack of progress in bringing its landfills in line with the EU legislation.

Bulgaria had agreed to close the landfills that do not meet the EU requirements, but, while some progress has been made, 124 landfills are still in breach of the legislation, Brussels said.

The reasoned opinion is the second stage in the EU infringement proceedings - giving Bulgaria two months to reply or face being referred to the EU Court of Justice.

On Thursday, Bulgarian environmental minister Nona Kardzhova expressed optimism that the country has good chances to avoid a penalty procedure, but it would need to send monthly reports to the European Commission about the progress that is being made, state-run Bulgarian News Agency reported.


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