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BELGIUM: The European Commission is taking legal action against Belgium in the European Court of Justice, for failure to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive in the Brussels region. The action follows an official warning at the end of last year, as Belgian plans to install sewage collection and treatment systems for the city of Brussels will miss the directive’s December 31 1998 deadline by five years.
Source: edie newsroom

EU: WHO and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) have drawn up a legally-binding Protocol aimed at combating water-borne diseases and guaranteeing safe drinking water for all. The text, still in draft form, will be submitted for adoption to member countries at the Third Ministerial Conference on ‘Environment and Health’ in Europe to be held in London on June 16 – 18.
Source: World Water & Environmental Engineering

EU: The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection has suggested that the term “accidental marine pollution” should be extended to cover radioactive substances as well as oil slicks. The proposal aims to support Member States’ efforts to protect the marine environment, human health and coastlines from the risks of accidental pollution. It provides for the creation of a Community information system promoting data exchange. The Commission proposes to allocate the action an annual budget of Euro 1million.
Source: World Water & Environmental Engineering

FRANCE: A new report by the French Institute for Health Monitoring has established clear links between air pollution and mortality rates. Comparing air pollution indicators (for particulates, SO2, NO2, and O3) and mortality rates between 1990-95 in nine major French towns, the Institute found a 3-4% increase in mortality rates for corresponding 50micrograms/m3 increase in air pollution levels.
Source: edie newsroom

SPAIN: The regional government of Andalucia has fined a firm in Seville PTA 100 million (approx £400,000) for hazardous waste offences. Through illegal dumping of hazardous waste and mixing of hazardous and municipal wastes, Antonio Bernal e Hijos was found to have contaminated land with heavy metals, mineral oils and halogenated hydrocarbons, and to have caused groundwater contamination with heavy metals. In addition to the fine, the firm was ordered to clean up damage done to the area.
Source: El Pais

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