Brussels, 21 June 2012
Environment: Commission closes Lazio case after adoption of waste management plans
The European Commission is closing a case against Italy after waste management plans have finally been adopted for the Lazio region. In 2007 the EU Court of Justice found Italy in breach of its obligations through its failure to adopt such plans, which are necessary to protect human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is closing the case. The adoption of the plan is a very important first step, but the Commission remains concerned about its implementation and is urging the Italian authorities to keep up their efforts to ensure proper waste management in the region.
In a ruling (Case C-082/06) sought by the Commission, the European Court of Justice condemned Italy in June 2007 for the absence of waste management plans for a number of regions and provinces, including the Lazio region. These plans are obligatory under the Waste Framework Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive. Italy adopted waste management plans compliant with these Directives for all concerned areas (the regions Friuli Venezia Giulia and Puglia and provinces of Bolzano and Rimini), with the exception of the Lazio region. The Italian authorities informed the Commission several times that steps were being taken to adopt the plan for Lazio, but the Commission remained concerned at the slow pace of adoption.
Since the ruling had not yet been complied with, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice on 8 May 2008, warning that a second Court appearance could result in fines. On 16 March 2012, Italy finally sent the Commission the waste management plans for the Lazio region, adopted on 18 January 2012. The Commission's assessment of the plans shows that they are in line with EU legislation.
Although this is an important first step, the Commission expects the authorities to ensure that the plan will actually be implemented in practice. Waste management as a whole in the Lazio region remains a matter of concern, inter alia because sufficient capacity to treat waste properly before landfilling still needs to be created, and a rapid solution needs to be found for the announced closure of the Malagrotta landfill near Rome, for example, which currently operates in breach of EU law (see IP/12/538), whilst taking into account concerns of citizens expressed in numerous complaints with respect to the new location of the landfill.
For details about EU waste legislation in general, see:
For current statistics on infringements in general see:
Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)
Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)