The European Parliament has passed its first reports on EU environmental policies since the elections in June. At a plenary session in Strasbourg today, MEPs completed their first readings of proposals on environmental inspection standards for industrial installations and on accidental marine pollution. Both will now be scrutinised by EU environment ministers. MEPs approved the opinion of the parliamentary environment committee that EU-wide guidelines for environmental inspectors proposed by the European Commission should become binding minimum standards (ENDS Daily 31 March). But the assembly voted against an amendment tabled by the Green group that would have required the setting up of an EU environmental inspectorate to work as an advisor to the European Commission. MEPs approved a report on a proposed EU framework for cooperation in the field of accidental marine pollution, drafted by Irish Green Patricia McKenna. The framework aims to coordinate action by EU countries to protect the environment from the dangers of events such as oil spills. Ms McKenna's report, as endorsed by the parliament today, explicitly lists the sources of pollution that should be covered by the framework, including operational spills, discharges of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, leaks from dumped munitions and radioactive materials.
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