Polluters allowed to emit 107 million tonnes

Under a new plan approved by the government Czech industries will be allowed a margin of air pollution emissions of up to almost 108 million tonnes per year as of January 1. Companies will receive permits, which are transferable in all 25 EU member countries, with the European Commission checking on the number of permits issued and monitoring the overall system. By the end of each year firms will be required to provide a total for the amount of pollutants actually released. The Environment Ministry demanded on Monday that permits for only up to 100 million tonnes be issued; as a result a hearing will now be held in Brussels to explain the compromise.