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6-Regulation: EU moves to make pollutors pay for environmentaldamage



                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  EU moves to make pollutors pay for environmental damage
SOURCE: Agence France Press
        http://www.terradaily.com/2003/031217192247.0vnpfgfl.html
DATE:   dec 17, 2003

------------------- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/ -------------------


EU moves to make pollutors pay for environmental damage

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a plan to force industries
responsible for land and water pollution to pay for the clean-up, but
environmentalists blasted the proposal as too soft.

After a second reading, European deputies in Strasbourg voted in favour
of the directive, which still needs the approval of individual member states.

The directive would oblige industries to take out insurance against the
risk of causing environmental damage to soil and water.

Under an amendment added on Wednesday, the EU would review the steps
taken by member states at the end of a five-year period.

If at this point governments have failed to introduce the appropriate
mechanisms, the European Commission -- the EU's executive arm -- will put
forward a compulsory system of insurance against water and soil damage.

The directive targets several specific sectors: industries that generate
large amounts of heavy metal waste, chemical manufacturers, waste
disposal and incinerator operators.

But it leaves out several key fields: nuclear pollution, marine oil
pollution and biological contamination from genetically modified crops.

The Dutch vice president of the EU's environmental commission, Alex de
Roo, gave a warm welcome to the vote: "Mandatory financial insurance
against environmental damage is now back on the EU legislative agenda."

But several environmental organisations criticised the final text as too
soft on pollutors.

"We regret that... European tax payers will in most cases continue to
pick up the bill for environmental damage," said Greenpeace's Rosanna
Micciche, stressing that the EU adopted the principle of "the pollutor
pays" in 1987.

"It is an absolute disgrace that the (European) Parliament failed to hold
its ground, and support the adoption of a system that would truly incite
operators to avoid damaging the environment," said Sandra Jen, of the
World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Manders report on environmental liability: EU takes timid step
        towards polluter pays principle
SOURCE: THE GREENS/EFA IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, Press Release
DATE:   Dec 17, 2003

------------------- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/ -------------------


Manders report on environmental liability: EU takes timid step towards
polluter pays principle

The Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament today welcomed MEP's
endorsement of new environmental liability legislation, saying that it
enshrined the polluter pays principle in EU law and benefited both the
environment and Europe's citizens and enshrined the polluter pays
principle in EU law. The vote at second reading will ensure that, in the
case of environmental damage such as chemical leaks and wildlife damage,
it is the polluter - not the tax payer - who will pay to clean it up.

Dutch MEP and Vice-President of the Parliament's Environment Committee
Alex de Roo, said: "I am glad that we managed to fend off attempts by EPP
members and the Liberal Rapporteur Manders to diminish further an already
weak proposal. I am also glad that directive will now have a review five
years after it comes into force - rather than the eight years wanted by
the Council. Mandatory financial insurance against environmental damage
is also now back on the EU legislative agenda."

Belgian Ecolo MEP Paul Lannoye said: "We regret that, although supported
by a clear majority of MEPs, our amendment demanding civil liability
legislation on damage arising from GMO contamination did not achieve the
necessary 314 votes to go through. The European Commission promised this
legislation back when the Directive on deliberate release of GMOs was
adopted but it is still not on the table."

"On international marine liability we were able to reject the exclusion
proposed by the Council, but the situation concerning the risks of
nuclear power must be improved. Despite the existence of international
conventions, the situation remains far from satisfactory. It is
unacceptable that such a dangerous activity escapes this significant and
very relevant legislation."

Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament
Helmut Weixler
Head of Press Office
phone: 0032-2-284.4683
fax: 0032-2-284.4944
mobile phone: 0032-475-67 13 40
e-mail: hweixler@europarl.eu.int
website: www.greens-efa.org

 

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