Ministers set to approve mining waste law

Swift resolution expected over remaining issues of exemptions, temporary facilities, financial guarantees

Mining waste will be a key agenda item when EU environment ministers gather in Luxembourg on Thursday for their latest quarterly meeting. Council sources confidently expect first reading agreement on a draft directive proposed by the European Commission following a string of pollution incidents at waste facilities, notably in Spain and Romania.

Governments have already backed the general thrust of the Commission's proposal. Under the directive, mine owners will have to apply for waste management permits before they can operate. The permit will require comprehensive waste management plans, including measures to reduce pollution during operation and post-closure rehabilitation work, backed up by financial guarantees (EED 03/06/03).

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