Health groups call on the leaders of the Western Balkan countries to harmonize national air quality standards with the World Health Organization Global air quality guidelines. Health experts should be actively involved in these decision-making processes to ensure the timely integration of public health measures into environmental policies. Compliance with WHO recommendations brings multiple benefits – reduced incidence of chronic diseases and premature deaths, reduced overall health costs and, most importantly, better health and higher productivity of people.
Bulgarian health community highlights the huge health benefits of refusing giving derogations or pollution exemptions for Bulgrarian coal power plants for the sake of (1) improving air quality, (2) reducing the incidence of respiratory, cardiovascular and other diseases related to air pollution, and (3) reducing long-term economic costs for the health system.
On Friday 30 November 2018, Bulgarian medical experts, health and patients organisation sent out their recommendations on the process of ‘derogations’. Derogations are requests by coal plant operators in Bulgaria to be exempted from rules established to further limit health-harming air polluting emissions, as foreseen in the EU law regulating large combustion plants, including coal plants (Derogations according to Art. 15 sec. 4 of the EU Directive on Industrial Emissions (2010/75/EU).