Italy taken to task over waste rules

Commission warns of court action over two alleged failures to comply with EU law

The European Commission is to warn Italy of possible court action over two failures to comply with the EU's 1975 waste framework directive. The EU executive said today that Italian legislation unjustly exempts waste recovery operations from waste licensing rules. Separate rules that exempt food waste intended for use as animal feed from storage and recovery requirements as long as hygiene rules are complied with are also inadmissible, the Commission says.

Having already delivered first warnings, the Commission is now sending reasoned opinions, or final warnings. Failing a satisfactory response within two months, it could then sue the government in the European Court of Justice. Italy has already been condemned once for a breach of the waste framework directive concerning an illegal waste landfill (ENDS Daily 9 November 1999).

* In a separate statement, the Commission said today that it would send a final warning to Finland for failing to protect an area of wetland in the north-east of the country that is an important wild bird habitat. A recently granted construction permit for a new power station would lead to the flooding of about 250 square kilometres of land, including the Kemihaara mires, home to many species protected under the EU's 1979 wild birds directive.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111, and press releases on Italy and waste and Finland and birds.

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