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Italian Government faces censure

The Italian government is facing censure from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to order sufficiently rigorous environmental assessments into waste-to-energy plants on its territory.

The court’s advocate general Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer Damaso has advised judges to order Italy to tighten up its rules, which effectively give waste-to-energy plants an easy ride regarding environmental controls, because they recover waste.

Colomer Damaso has advised that Italy has broken the 1997 environmental impact assessment directive EC/11/97 in this way — the court usually rubber stamps the advice of its advocate generals.

And because ECJ rulings are legal precedents across the EU, such a decision would effectively stop Britain and other EU member states imposing such light environmental controls on such plants.

The advocate general also found Italy breaking the directive regarding its approval of a biomass waste-to-energy plant at Massafra, in Taranto province, southern Italy, which consumes more than 100 tonnes municipal waste daily.

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