German flood protection law adopted
Germany's lower parliamentary house has approved a law aimed at improving flood protection, chiefly by restricting business and development activities in areas susceptible to flooding. The measure will generally prohibit new housing development and industry in such areas. It will also impose restrictions on farming, and farmers will have to avoid activities causing soil erosion or water pollution. The government proposed the law a year ago, following disastrous floods in the Elbe river basin in summer 2002 (EED 11/08/03). See environment ministry press release.