Austrian IPPC, Seveso legislation in place

Government transposes key EU directives late - but still quicker than most member states

The Austrian government has transposed two important EU environmental directives relating to industrial pollution prevention and control (IPPC) and major accident hazards, with an amended national waste management law which came into effect on 1 September, the environment ministry said yesterday.

Austria is one of the first member states to transpose the IPPC directive, which aims to reduce industrial pollution through use of best available technology for specific industrial sectors, although, like most member states, it missed the 31 October 1999 deadline. Finland (ENDS Daily 2 March), the rest of Scandinavia and France are the only member states to have fully transposed the law, while others, such as Germany (ENDS Daily 1 September) have drafted but not yet passed laws or only managed partial transposition.

Likewise, most EU member states have still to transpose the Seveso II directive, which updates an earlier EU law on the prevention of major industrial accident hazards involving dangerous substances. Last week, the European Commission announced court actions against six countries for failure to transpose the law by the legal deadline of February 1999 (ENDS Daily 1 September).

Only a handful of countries, including Scandinavian member states, the Netherlands and Spain, have fully transposed the directive into national law. In the meantime, EU controls are set for further tightening following the major Enschede factory explosion in the Netherlands (ENDS Daily 18 May).

Follow Up:
Austrian environment ministry, tel: +43 1 71 10 00, and press release. European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111.

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