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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 30 May 2013

Environment: Commission takes Greece to Court over landfill in Peloponnese

The European Commission is concerned that Greece is failing to protect its citizens and the environment from the effects of badly treated waste in the Peloponnese region. Despite earlier warnings, the Kiato landfill is operating in breach of EU waste and landfill legislation and thus represents a serious risk for human health and the environment. In an effort to urge Greece to speed up its actions in this area, the Commission is taking Greece to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

The Landfill Directive imposes stringent technical requirements for landfills, to prevent adverse effects on human health, water, soil and air. Various on-site inspections have revealed that space has run out at the Kiato landfill, but that it continues to operate without a valid permit, creating a serious threat to health and the environment. Although the Greek authorities recognise the problem and are trying to address it, the necessary measures to clean up the landfill have still not been taken and Kiato continues to operate in breach of EU waste legislation.

Background

The Kiato landfill has been operating without a permit since 2002.

The Landfill Directive is a key instrument to prevent or reduce as far as possible negative effects on the environment from landfilling of waste, during the whole life-cycle of the landfill, and to protect human health and the environment from the negative effects caused by the collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of waste.

For more information:

On EU waste legislation in general: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/index.htm

On implementation of Community environmental legislation:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/implementation_en.htm

See also:

On the May infringement package decisions, see MEMO/13/470

On the general infringement procedure, see also MEMO/12/12

For more information on infringement procedures:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)


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