The European Commission is taking Spain to the EU Court of Justice over poor waste management.
It said the country has failed to take measures to close, seal and ecologically restore 61 illegal landfills despite previous warnings.
Under EU law, Member States are required to recover and dispose of waste “in a manner that does not endanger human health and the environment”. It prohibits the abandonment, dumping or uncontrolled disposal of waste.
The Commission opened infringement proceeding in March 2007, “with a reasoned opinion” following in October 2008.
It said the Spanish authorities promised to close and restore the illegal landfills as part of their action plans before the end of 2011.
The Commission added: “Due to slow progress, in September 2014 the Commission sent an additional reasoned opinion, urging Spain to adequately deal with the 61 uncontrolled sites, which although not in operation still posed a threat to human health and the environment.
“In an effort to urge Spain to speed up the process, the Commission is taking Spain to the EU Court of Justice.”