Sweden mobilises on mobile machinery law

EU air pollution rules to be implemented as Commission threatens nine other countries

Sweden is to implement a 1997 EU directive limiting air pollution from non-road mobile machinery such as construction equipment, the Swedish environment ministry has announced. New rules effective from 1 January will make the Environmental Protection Agency the national "type approvals" authority for off-road machinery. They will also make Sweden one of the first EU countries to transpose the directive into national law - this week the European Commission said it would send reasoned opinions (or final warnings) to nine out of the 15 member states for failure to communicate implementing legislation by the deadline of 30 June this year (ENDS Daily 15 December). No details are available on how far other countries not targeted by the Commission - Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain - have progressed in implementing the law. Off-road machinery is responsible for about a fifth of Swedish emissions of nitrogen oxides, according to the environment ministry. But the law would have little impact on emissions levels because Swedish manufacturers had already adapted to meet the EU requirements. Transposition of the law had not been achieved until after the formal deadline, a spokesperson said, mainly because of a delay in its agreement at EU level due to disputes between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament (ENDS Daily 18 December 1997).

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