MEPs insist on BAT requirement in Emas

European Parliament environment committee votes on environmental management systems

All businesses wanting to register under the revised EU environmental management scheme, Emas, should be required to use "best available technologies" (BAT) to reduce environmental impacts, the European Parliament's environment committee said yesterday.

If the full parliament backs this stance then the assembly will be set on a collision course with EU governments and the European Commission. However, the parliament's biggest political grouping, the EPP, opposed the measure in committee. If the EPP maintains its position in plenary then the proposal is likely to fall.

The debate over BAT is the last major point of controversy over revisions to the existing 1994 Emas regulation following ministerial agreement at first reading year (ENDS Daily 1 March). The concept is central to EU legislation on pollution control from major industrial installations. But the Commission argues that it is alien to many of the businesses that will be eligible to join Emas under the wider scope of the new regulation. It says provisions of equal strength but more universal relevance already appear in the law.

However, Christian Hey of European environmental group coalition the EEB said today this argument was "not very honest". EU guidelines detailing BAT requirements for all sectors would be drawn up over the next few years, he said.

Follow Up:
European Parliament environment committee, tel: +32 2 284 2111, and a parliament press release. The amendments adopted by the committee will be posted here.

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