Brussels region to hit federal government with million-euro fine over noise pollution

Brussels region to hit federal government with million-euro fine over noise pollution
The regional government in Brussels will hit federal authorities with over €4 million in fines over aircraft noise pollution. Credit: © Belga

The Brussels-Capital Region is expecting to cash in on a total of €4.72 million in fines imposed to the federal government over aircraft noise pollution above Brussels.

The new fines come shortly after the federal government finished paying off a first package of fines imposed by regional authorities in May over breaches of noise pollution standards observed in the months of April and May.

Regional environment minister, Alain Maron said the government had paid off the fines, imposed separately by his predecessor but totalling €2.41 million, in September.

But after renewed breaches of the standards in the period ranging from March to August were observed in different air routes above the region.

A total of 262 violations had been committed in the ring route, 37 above the Channel route and 137 were observed on a route known as Airstrip 01, amounting to a combined €4.72 in fines for the federal government.

The figures, unveiled during a parliamentary session with the environmental and energy committee, saw Maron declare that he expected the government to own up to its obligations, adding that he was ready to take “enforcement measures” if federal authorities failed to do so.

Maron also said that he would legally challenge a study, commissioned by the federal government after a court ordered it to in 2018, into noise pollution in Brussels, arguing that it does not offer a satisfactory solution to the problem of noise pollution in Brussels, according to Bruzz.

As she announced the fines in May, Maron’s predecessor criticised the federal government’s approach to air pollution in Brussels, accusing it being more willing to pay fines than to address the situation, which she said was harming Brussels residents’ health.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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