EU landfill directive rubber-stamped

Council of Ministers formally approves new law with only minor changes from 1998 agreement

EU directives on waste landfilling, sulphur levels in fuel oil and greenhouse gas monitoring were formally approved without debate by the Council of Ministers this week Passed by the General Affairs Council, the final form of the landfill directive is little different from the political agreement reached by ministers last year (ENDS Daily 24 March 1998) and does not include any of the main amendments put forward by the Parliament (ENDS Daily 11 February). The directive covers elements such as maximum permitted levels of biodegradable waste and sets time-scales for bringing sub-standard sites up to scratch. Meanwhile, the directive on the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels received formal approval in exactly the same form as that agreed by EU environment ministers last year (ENDS Daily 18 June 1998a), the European Parliament having failed to agree any amendments to the law earlier this year (ENDS Daily 11 February). The directive is a measure intended to combat acidification. It will set maximum sulphur levels in gas oil and heavy fuel oil burned in the EU from 2003. At this week's General Affairs Council, ministers also formally adopted new rules on the way levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are monitored in the EU. As agreed in principle by ministers last year, the existing monitoring system will be expanded to include all man-made greenhouse gases. It will also evaluate progress towards meeting the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the Kyoto Protocol (ENDS Daily 24 March 1998).

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