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Cologne Administrative Court: otherwise the nitrogen oxide limit cannot be observed
Cologne and Bonn also have to introduce driving bans. The Cologne Administrative Court ruled on November 8, 2018 (file number: Cologne: 13 K 6684/15, file number: Bonn: 13 K 6682/15). From April 2019, they should apply to diesel cars with Euro 4 standard and older and also to old petrol engines (Euro 1 to 3), from September 2019 then - in Bonn only partially - also to diesel cars with Euro 5 Engines.
Following a lawsuit brought by Deutsche Umwelthilfe, the administrative court found that both cities had failed to meet the nitrogen oxide limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air in 2017.
In Cologne, this applies to at least five measuring stations with a peak annual mean value on the Clevischer Ring of 62 micrograms per cubic meter. In view of the high exceedances, the city can only comply with the limit value with driving bans in the previous “green environmental zone”. The administrative court therefore obliged the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to update the clean air plan for the city of Cologne and to include a zone-related driving ban as a measure there.
An annual mean value of 47 micrograms per cubic meter was measured in Bonn on Reuterstraße 2017, and 42 micrograms on Belderberg 2016. Because of the slight exceedance, diesel cars with Euro 5 engines are not affected. To do this, however, the urban bus fleet had to be retrofitted with filters “promptly”. For Bonn, the administrative court also obliged the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to update the clean air plan accordingly.
After the verdict was pronounced, environmental aid in Berlin said: “Now that we have won ten procedures in a row, no one should think that driving bans are disproportionate and will not come. All courts that have dealt with the subject so far see it differently. ”
All in all, the environmental aid lawsuit filed for "clean air" in 29 cities so far, five more are to follow in November 2018.
According to calculations by the European Environment Agency, nitrogen dioxide was responsible for 13,100 premature deaths in Germany alone in 2015, emphasized environmental aid. Dirty diesel cars contribute significantly to more than 800,000 new cases of diabetes and asthma each year.