European Court of Justice – Compliance

Portugal has been reprimanded by the ECJ for breaching the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. The Court found that Portugal had not adhered to certain conditions laid down in a Commission Decision granting a derogation allowing urban waste water from the Estoril Coast to be subject to less stringent treatment prior to discharge.


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It was held that both during and outwith the bathing season urban waste water was not subjected to the level of primary treatment required by the Decision prior to its discharge to sea, resulting in adverse effects on the environment.

Italy was also held to account for adopting and applying national legislation in the Liguria Region that effectively authorises exemptions from the EU system of wild birds protection, contrary to the Wild Birds Directive.

The ECJ also upheld a complaint by the European Commission that Belgium, in the Wallonia region and in Brussels, had only partially or incorrectly transposed a number of essential provisions of the integrated pollution prevention and control directive.

The full ECJ judgment in the cases C-233/07, C-503/06 and C-271/07 may be accessed via the following link.

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