EU environment ministers failed to reach agreement on a draft directive on soil protection on Thursday, despite the proposal having the support of 22 of the bloc's 27 member states. Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas described the result as "a missed opportunity".
In a fractious public debate on Thursday, Germany, the UK, Austria and the Netherlands outlined their opposition to the proposals. All four countries already have national legislation on soil protection and said the proposed EU directive would simply add red tape and extra cost (EED 22/09/06).
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