24 June 1996 00:00 [Source: ICB]
The European Commission's proposed landfill directive looks almost certain to collapse completely this week, following overwhelming rejection by the European Parliament last month.
Last week the Commission decided not to withdraw the directive, but the only way it could now pass into law would be to gain unanimous support at the European environment ministers' meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday this week (25-26 June). This is thought to be extremely unlikely - France and Belgium have previously voted against the proposal.
On 22 May the European Parliament voted against the directive by 445 to 18. The rejection was based on an exemption clause for smaller landfills, which opponents claim would substantially weaken waste management legislation in Europe.
Ulrich Geffarth, Cefic's spokesman on waste management issues, said the chemical industry had 'learned to live' with 15 different national landfill regimes and was 'looking on at a distance' at the negotiations.
The proposed biocides directive is also expected to be a major agenda item at the environment ministers' meeting. It is hoped that a common position can be reached which will allow the directive to go forward to the European Parliament. DGXI's head of the chemical substances and biotechnology unit, Guy Corcelle, said last week the ministers were 50:50 in favour of a common position but he was optimistic that agreement could be reached.
Corcelle also told members of the European chemical industry's toxicology body (Ecetoc) meeting in Brussels that the Commission would not be proposing any more major new pieces of legislation on control of chemical substances in the future. European legislation on chemicals had built up over 30 years since the first law, the Dangerous Substances directive of 1967, was passed. With the biocides directive, laws would cover 'the whole scope of chemicals legislation', Corcelle said.
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