Italy loses EU waste recovery assessment case

Waste-to-energy facilities are subject to EIA law, court says; Luxembourg condemned over wastewater

EU judges have ruled against Italy in a case brought by the European commission over whether waste recovery operations should fall under Europe’s 1985 environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive.

The commission had challenged Italian exemptions from impact assessment for two new waste-to-energy installations in the southern municipality of Massafra. It argued that the EIA law’s scope of application to "disposal operations" excluded facilities that recover waste. Since the purpose of waste recovery plants was to improve the environment their impacts need not be assessed, it added.

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