EC: Enforcement action begins for Italy, Ireland and France

The European Commission has given three countries first warnings for their failure to respond to environmental complaints. Ireland has regularly failed to respond to EC complaints, but France and Italy are generally prompt in replying.

Ireland has been taken to task for failing to respond to the EC’s request for communication on the progress of environmental protection in Dublin Bay. A Letter of Formal Notice, or first warning, has been issued.

The EC originally requested explanations as to why Ireland has not fully classified Dublin Bay as a special protection area under the Wild Birds Directive. Correctly applied, the Directive should affect Dublin’s draft development plan.

In the case of Italy, the EC has had no response to its request for information on Italy’s possible incorrect application of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Habitats Directive relating to a landfill site containing solid urban waste. Another landfill site has led to EC questions regarding Italy’s application of the Framework Waste Directive and the Habitats Directive.

Three separate cases have been the cause of the Letter of Formal Notice to France. They are:

  • air and water pollution from a smelting works in the Ardennes
  • surface water pollution and threats to a special protection area by an intensive poultry production unit in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel
  • threats to protected species and habitats as well as groundwater from a proposed motorway bypass at Langeais

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