SPAIN: Environment Minister, Isabel Tocino, has agreed to amend the forthcoming water law (Ley de Aguas) in order to gain the agreement of socialist opposition party PSOE. Tocino has agreed to clarify the text on water trading, to make it clear that trading can only take place within the same usage sector. So water rights for irrigation may be traded, but hydro-electric companies will not be able to sell their water rights to farmer, reports El País.
SPAIN: The Government caused a row with the Environment Minstry, by ignoring its environmental impact declarations for two key infrastructure projects. The first project is a high speed train route from Zaragoza to Barcelona which goes through what was a natural protected area that was declassified by the regional Government to accommodate the train route. The national Government over-ruled the Environment Minstry’s objections and decided to go ahead with the controversial route. The second was an extension of the A-6 motorway to Avila – again the Government chose to ignore the Ministry’s environmental impact declaration in its choice of route. Ecologists described the decisions as “shameful”, reports El País.
SPAIN: The regional Government of Andalucia is to grant permission this week for the re-opening of the Aznalcollar mine, which burst a tailings dam last April, causing one of Spain’s worst recorded ecological disasters. The re-opening was opposed by the management board of the neighbouring Donaña national park (headed by Environment Minster, Isabel Tocino) see related story