D he environmental organization Client-Earth and several residents of the Brussels region argued with the regional administration about whether the current monitoring of air quality is sufficient. The plaintiffs believed that the Belgian capital's administration was doing too little to improve air quality. With their lawsuit, they wanted to set up measuring stations.
Measuring stations where it is worst
In their ruling, the judges affirm that measuring stations should above all be set up there where the air pollution is greatest. This is to avoid that limit values are exceeded unnoticed in other places. In order to substantiate this, courts can in future have the location of measuring stations checked and, in case of doubt, order new placements. Residents who feel stressed can sue for a measuring station to be set up. The decisive factor for exceeding is not mean values, but each individual exceeding.
As a result, many European cities may have to adapt to lawsuits about the installation of measuring stations. Some environmental associations suspect that measuring stations are deliberately not placed in the most polluted places. If the permissible limit values are exceeded, there is a risk of locally severely limited or area-wide driving bans as a countermeasure.