Germany transposes EU law on PCB waste

Cabinet adopts ordinance three months after Commission announces court action

The German cabinet today adopted an ordinance governing the disposal of the electrical transformer fluids polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), transposing into national law a European directive a year-and-a-half after the deadline of March 1998. In July, the European Commission announced that it would launch court proceedings against Germany for non-transposition of the directive, having previously sent two warnings (ENDS Daily 16 July). Five other countries were simultaneously targeted in the move. The 1996 EU directive on PCBs (96/59) obliges member states to dispose of existing stocks of the persistent bioaccumulative chemicals "as soon as possible" and to create inventories of PCB-containing equipment. In a statement on the new ordinance, the German environment ministry stressed that operational requirements of the directive were already being complied with by Germany's states. The measure would simply introduce a federal legal framework, as required under EU law, the ministry said.

Follow Up:
German environment ministry, tel: +49 30 28550.

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