The Clean Air Group today appealed to the Sofia Court of Appeal for the dismissal of three collective actions filed against the City of Sofia for polluted air.
“The formalistic approach of the court in the case is a refusal of access to justice. Citizens have a right to clean air, which they should be able to defend in court, “said lawyer Dimo Gospodinov, who personally filed the appeal.
The decision of the Sofia City Court (SCC) of October 27, 2017 to terminate the case came at a crucial time for the citizens of Sofia – the beginning of the winter season, when traditionally the air quality deteriorates dramatically. Only a few days after the case was terminated, values in the three quarters of Sofia were reported above the norm – Nadezhda (2.39 times above the norm), Hippodrome (1.65), and Pavlovo (1.48).
“There is no clear trend for air purification in Sofia, since in January and February 2017 the average values for fine dust particles are 2.5 higher than for 2016, 2015 and 2013. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and solve the problem”, said Ivaylo Hlebarov from “For the Earth – Access to Justice”.
On the occasion of the approaching winter season, the official filing of the appeal was accompanied by a campaign “Winter for the Sofians”. Jars full with fresh air from different places in Bulgaria were offered in front of the Courts of Justice to allow residents in Sofia to stock up and have something to breathe in the cold months.
“It is a shame that the Bulgarian court, as well as the municipality, do not protect the public interest at all, especially with regard to air quality. Quality of life is directly related to air quality, “added Hristo Iliev from “Save Sofia”.