France, Spain and Italy face environmental complaints

The European Commission is starting infringement proceedings against France, Spain and Italy over failures to provide information about possible breaches of EU environmental law.


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After receiving complaints about potential breaches, the Commission wrote to the three Member States requesting further information. None of them have responded. France has been asked for information on a chemical factory bordering Germany, and on the impact of flood-control works on wild birds living on a lake in the Pyrenees.

Spain must produce information on waste plants in Barcelona and Alendralejo, and demonstrate that proper assessments of the effects of a new urban development on nearby endangered habitats were made. Italy faces similar complaints of a lack of adequate impact assessments on lake and road projects.

The complaints cover obligations under the Birds, Habitats, Access to Information, Waste Management, Urban Wastewater and Environmental Impact Assessment directives.

The three countries will all receive letters of formal notice that must be acted on within two months. Failure to reply will invoke the second stage of proceedings, with formal requests in the form of reasoned opinions to comply with EU legislation.

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