Home News Belgium warned over environmental breaches

Belgium warned over environmental breaches

Published on 13/07/2005

13 July 2005

BRUSSELS — The European Commission has issued Belgium final written warnings in five cases involving breaches of EU environment laws.

Belgium is accused of breaching noise, strategic environmental impact assessment, public access to environmental information, water, waste and nature conservation regulations.

However, the EC has also been able to call case closed on three other matters involving impact assessment, nature conservation and movement of waste because Belgian authorities have taken appropriate measures.

“I welcome Belgium’s action enabling us to put an end to some of the previous infringements. I hope that Belgium will now act quickly to remedy other shortcomings in its environmental protection,” Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said.

The EC is warning Belgium of legal action in the European Court of Justice over environmental problems at a landfill in the Walloon region at Flobecq.

Belgium is also under the spotlight for failing to implement EU laws on noise, strategic environmental assessment and public access to environmental information. Similar action is being taken against several other member states.

A final warning was also issued over inadequate measures to protect the European hamster. Since 1994, member states have been required to protect the species, but the hamster is threatened with extinction in Belgium.

The three cases in which Belgium now complies with EU law involved the eventual passing of legislation on the environmental assessment of projects and improved Flemish legislation protecting important sites for the conservation of wild birds.

Belgium also agreed to comply with EU rules allowing the export of biodegradable waste from Flanders to the Netherlands.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news