Icelandic municipality escapes fines for unclean incinerator

The Environment Agency of Iceland has conceded to the Westman Islands council’s claim that it should not have to pay the daily fines charged by the agency for inadequate pollution controls at the town’s waste incinerator and hot water plant.

The daily fines from 1st July until now, if left unchallenged by the municipality, would now amount to a total bill of well-over ISK 4 million (EUR 25,100) — but in light of the complaint, the Environment Agency is now claiming ISK 125,000 (EUR 784.50) from the Westman Islands, reported.

A letter dated the 9th May informed the Westman Islands of the Environment Agency’s decision to start fining the municipal government every day for the high level of dust particles in the incinerator’s emissions. Although other pollutants are also discussed in the letter, there is no mention of fines for them. The Environment Agency’s subsequent application of fines for a variety of pollutants above acceptable limits was therefore challenged by the municipality.

A statement from the Agency says that the notice of their decision to fine for breaches of operating licence conditions was not clear enough.