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Commission Study Says EU Body Needed to Enforce European Waste Law

Dedicated ECU body wanted to guarantee enforcement of European waste law, announces Commission study

A European Commission study published on 1 February 2010 counsels setting up a dedicated European body to oversee the execution and enforcement of ECU waste law. The study is a part of a collection of steps being taken by the Commission to enhance waste management and guarantee it meets the standards set by ECU legislation to guard voters and the environment.

Illegal discarding of waste continues on a big scale, many landfill sites are sub-standard and in some Member States basic waste infrastructure is still missing. Illegal waste shipments are also a concern.

A second report made public today explains nearly one 5th of waste shipments checked as an element of recent enforcement actions in Member States were illegal. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas expounded :

“Compliance with ECU legislation is crucial if we are to reach the overarching objective of ECU waste legislation, which is to offer protection to the health of European voters and the environment. We must look at all the options, including setting up an ECU agency or body which could enable ECU legislation to supply the maximum advantages for voters, the environment and the ECU economy.”

Study counsels dedicated agency to apply waste law Overseeing the safe and environmentally sound management of waste is one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the EU today. A projected 2.6 bill tons of waste is generated in the EU every year about 90 million tons of this is filed as unsafe.

The study broadcast today counsels setting up a dedicated agency at ECU level to take on the fundamental issues of poor implementation and enforcement of European waste legislation.

The size of the issue has grown in recent times following increases in waste generated and shipped in the enlarged ECU . In 2008, the European Parliament adopted a resolution encouraging the Commission to report on the viability of creating a “Community environmental inspection force”. The agency would carry out a number of jobs like reviews of enforcement systems in Member States, coordinated controls and inspection activities. This would be mixed with the making of a particular European body answerable for direct inspections and controls of facilities and sites in major cases of failure to comply.

A European network of Member States would support the agency in a number of activities. The changes are based primarily on replies from Member State officers and shareholders thru questionnaires, interviews and informal workshops. The yearly cost for carrying out the changes is guessed at only over Euros 16,000,000.

As well as other waste-related benefits, full implementation of ECU waste law would reduce emissions of CO2, including methane from landfills. This would save 2.5 bln yearly at today’s carbon cost of around thirteen Euros per tonne.

Other important business benefits from reinforcing implementation include a level playing field for European firms, better encouragement for innovation and increased access to valuable secondary raw materials. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis will be carried out this year. Further steps might be suggested during 2011.

Gaps in implementation of EU waste law Current openings in implementation and enforcement have led straight to wide-scale illegal junking and enormous numbers of landfills and other facilities and sites that don’t meet ECU standards. In some Member States, waste infrastructure is insufficient or missing ( see IP / 09 / 1795 ). Further details : http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/index.htm .

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