Commission acts over EU waste and water laws

Five countries targeted in latest Commission environmental law infringement actions

The European Commission has announced further disciplinary action against five EU member states over alleged non-compliance of water and waste laws as the flood of infringement proceedings continued last week.

The Commission is to take Italy and the UK to the European Court of Justice for failure to implement the 1975 surface waters and 1979 shellfish waters directives respectively. The Commission says Italy has not produced a surface water action plan to restore waters to drinkable quality in the Lombardy region. The UK faces a trip to Luxembourg because the Commission says it has failed to earmark enough of its waters for protection for shellfish, and because its pollution reduction programmes are incomplete.

Meanwhile, Germany, Austria and Belgium are to receive reasoned opinions - second warning letters - from the Commission over their failure to define waste properly in their national laws. Moreover, the Commission alleges that Austria has not adopted the EU's official list of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, while Germany's waste shipment laws place illegal restrictions on waste processors.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111, and press releases IP/00/887 and 888 dated 28 July on Rapid.

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