Sofia Echo


EC gives Romania final warning over environmental impact assessments

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Fri, Mar 19 2010 5 Comments, 4495 Views
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The European Commission said on March 19 that it sent Romania a final warning about a breach of EU laws regarding environmental impact assessments.

The warning stemmed from the construction of a major formaldehyde production plant in 2007, without a permit and before any impact assessment having been made. Romanian authorities initially ordered the demolition of the plant, but the order was later rescinded by a local court.

"The Commission is not aware of any sanction being applied to the operator. A failure to act on this second warning could see Romania brought before the European Court of Justice," the EC said in a statement.

European environment commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "Legislation on its own is never enough: it must be able to be applied 'on the ground'. Romania must ensure that impact assessments are carried out in cases like these, and that they respect any rulings that follow."

The EC said that no appropriate measures to sanction the operator and to ensure that EU legislation was effectively being applied had been taken. Romania was thus in breach of several EU directives, including the environmental impact and the Seveso Directive on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances.

The Commission issued a first warning in October 2009, which Romania replied to in November.

"The Commission is not satisfied with the reply, which does little to remove doubts about the breach of the relevant legislation, and has decided to issue a second warning, the final step before a summons before the European Court of Justice," the Commission statement said.

If Romania fails to comply with the second warning and the case is referred to the European Court of Justice, the court can impose heavy fines on the country.

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    • Anonymous neutral
      #5 14, 04, Mon, May 31 2010

      EcoHomes is a tried and tested environmental standard for housing. The standard acts as a label, advertising not only your commitment to sustainability through reduced environmental impact and improved quality of life for residents, but the credentials of the home to your residents.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #4 08, 00, Sat, Mar 20 2010

      That is..Romania does need to be held accountable.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #3 07, 59, Sat, Mar 20 2010

      Romania does need to be held EU courts have shown themselves to be toothless. Legislation without enforcement is as futile as a court order without a means (or will) of enforcement.

    • Anonymous
      evro Rating:
      #2 21, 17, Fri, Mar 19 2010

      Welcome to Europe, Austria is in Eu for many years already!!!

      Will Romania ever be punished? If so, let it be a warning for Bulgaria so none of the Eu money will be lost. Paying 52% tax over my income still hurts if i see how it is wasted by EU!

    • Anonymous neutral
      #1 19, 49, Fri, Mar 19 2010

      funny , that formaldehyde plant was built by an Austrian company...Didn't they know the EU 13 Directive on volatile organic compounds? What is amazing is that they build it without requesting any approval from construction or environmental authorities...nice.

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