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   On a proposal by Mr. Bruce Millan, Commissioner for Regional Policy,  the
   Commission has approved Structural Funds grants of more than 83 MECUS for
   an  operational programme in Portugal under the Community initiative  for
   the  environment  (ENVIREG). The total volume of the  programme  will  be
   119 MECUS.
   In May 1990 the Commission launched the ENVIREG initiative which aims  to
   help  the  least-favoured regions to safeguard  their  environment  while
   securing  the basis for balanced economic development. The programme  for
   Portugal is the first to be approved in the Community.
   The  programme contains a comprehensive set of measures which  will  help
   Portugal raise its environmental standards over the next three years very
   significantly. These include:
   - collection, storage, transfer, recycling and processing of solid  urban
     waste;
   - recycling of processed effluent and sludge;
   - purchase  of equipment for combating maritime pollution from  leaks  of
     oil and other dangerous substances following accidents or dumping;
   - treatment of industrial waste, decontamination of land-tips,  treatment
     of hospital waste;
   - recuperation and protection of biotopes and other ecosystems in coastal
     areas;
                                    -  2  -
   - improvement  in  the administration of public  bodies  responsible  for
     environmental  quality, development and implementation of norms -  this
     will   help   the  competent  authorities  in  the   verification   and
     implementation of environmental norms derived  from Community law;
   - assisting local authorities by setting up service centres for  sewerage
     plants.
   Commenting  the  decision  Mr.  Millan said:  "Thanks  to  the  excellent
   cooperation with the Portuguese authorities we have been able to  prepare
   this programme in a very short time. Like the tourism programme which  is
   to  be  adopted  at the same time, it is yet another  facet  of  measures
   undertaken to foster regional development in Portugal."
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