Two more EU environment laws finalised

Conciliation committee agrees texts on marine pollution, waste incineration

EU government and European Parliament representatives have reached "conciliation" accords on the wording of two EU directives dealing with accidental marine pollution and waste incineration. The laws will come into force once the compromises are formally approved by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament's plenary assembly, which is expected within weeks.

The marine pollution directive was originally proposed by the European Commission in 1998 and will set a framework for cooperation between EU member states and accession countries in the event of accidental incidents causing contamination of the seas. A seven-year, euro 7m action programme will help to maintain mutual assistance networks and joint information databases to facilitate cooperation.

The passage of the law was uncontroversial, with the only substantial disagreement surfacing over the parliament's insistence that information be made available on risks posed by munitions dumped at sea. The final text includes the requirement for such disclosure by member states.

Agreement on a revision of the EU's waste incineration directive was reached three months ago (ENDS Daily 14 July) but formally announced only yesterday. The new directive now covers both hazardous and non-hazardous waste and sets the first ever EU limits on "coincineration" plants such as some cement kilns.

Follow Up:
EU conciliation committee; EU Council of Ministers, tel: +32 2 285 6111, and press release; European Parliament, tel: 284 2111, and press releases on marine pollution and waste incineration.

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