Wallonia’s government has just adopted a decree on interior air quality that bans smoking in a car in the presence of a minor, just as in Flanders. The date on which the decree is to take effect will be set “soon”, the region’s Environment Minister, Carlo Di Antonio, said on Friday.
Anyone violating the ban, whether a driver or a passenger, will face a penalty of up to 1,000 euros, while an immediate fine of 130 euros will also be imposed, the minister said. Regional and local monitors as well as the police will be authorised to issue violations.
The draft decree will also authorise any citizen, on the advice of a doctor and under certain conditions, to request an air quality assessment for his/her home or any public building (public offices, public schools, public-transport stations, etc.).
An assessment service will also be required, based on indicators to be set soon by the Government, to assess the air quality in such buildings. The service will draw up an assessment report on air quality and related environmental or health risks, and, where necessary, propose recommendations and corrective action to improve the quality of the air in the premises evaluated.
That report will serve as facultative information for the owners or renters of a building. However, if environmental or health risks are identified, they will need to be communicated to the municipality where the premises are located.
Owners or managers of establishments open to the public will have to submit a plan of action aimed at reducing the risks and monitoring the evolution of air quality within the building within a period of six months if risks are identified, failing which sanctions will be imposed.