Italy rapped over incinerator planning
Italy has been rapped by the ECJ for failing to carry out an environmental impact assessment for a waste incinerator and failing to adequately publicise the plans.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The ECJ has issued a judgement concerning the failure on the part of the Italian authorities to carry out environmental impact assessments in respect of certain projects as required by the EIA Directive and also for failing to publicise the application of a permit in terms of the Waste Incineration Directive.
The facts of the case concerned an incinerator in Brescia that was classified by the Italian authorities as a “third line” incinerator which they interpreted as being exempt from the requirement for an environmental impact assessment because it fell within the exemption in Annexe 1 to the EIA Directive.
The incinerator at Brescia, which recovered hazardous waste and had a capacity of 100 tonnes per day, was seen as being exempt from the requirement for environmental impact assessment under national legislation.
However, in the court’s view, the Directive has been incorrectly transposed because a project of that type should have been subject to an environmental impact assessment under national legislation.
With regard to the second submission by the Commission, it was argued that Italy infringed Article 12 of the Waste Incineration Directive in that it failed to publicise for an appropriate period an application for a permit to operate a “third line” incinerator..
The Italian authorities argued that Article 12 of the Directive did not apply since the incinerator line was not subject to an authorisation procedure because no application for authorisation had been made. Instead, a declaration was issued to the effect that the incinerator was being put into service, in line with Italian national legislation.
In terms of article 12(1) of the Directive, the ECJ found that the phrase “application for a new permit” was to be given as broad and full a meaning as possible and therefore procedures similar to what was in place under Italian law must be construed in this way.
Accordingly, the ECJ found that the Italian authorities were in breach of article 12(1) of the Waste Incineration Directive for failing to publicise the application of a new permit.
The text of the case can be accessed at the following link:-
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