Environmental News and Data Services (ENDS)

MEPs opt for compromise on EU soil directive

The European parliament's environment committee voted against a major weakening of proposals for an EU directive on soil protection on Tuesday. The committee rejected several amendments from centre-right rapporteur Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines which would have watered down the proposals significantly (EED 13/09/07).

Adopting a series of compromise amendments, MEPs retained an obligation on member states to establish risk reduction targets for priority soil degradation areas. They also kept a requirement for EU countries to establish public inventories of sites where soil contamination has been confirmed. The committee also added biodiversity loss, acidification and adverse effects due to climate change to a list of degradation processes that should be monitored.

MEPs also called on the European commission to propose EU legislation on biowaste within two years that would 'set quality standards for the use of biowaste as a soil preserver'. Several EU states have been pushing the commission for some time to introduce a biowaste law (EED 31/05/06).

Despite the committee's rejection of the rapporteur's proposals the European environmental bureau was still unhappy with the outcome. It accused MEPs of 'hollowing out even further what was already a fundamentally weak commission proposal'.

The committee's position now goes for a first-reading vote in the parliament's plenary body. After this governments will adopt their own first reading stance.

Courtesy of ENDS Europe Daily

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