EC calls on Romania to close and rehabilitate 15 illegal landfills
The European Commission (EC) has called on Romania to close, seal and ecologically restore 15 illegal landfills that benefitted from a transitional period according to its Accession Treaty.
A total of 101 substandard landfills that benefitted from a transitional period should have been closed by July 2019, the EC said. Eighty-six of them are now closed and rehabilitated. Still, for the 15 remaining landfills, the timeline for closure and rehabilitation “is uncertain as for most of these landfills, the closure works have not yet started.”
Thus, the European Commission has decided to address a letter of formal notice to Romania, and the country has two months to respond to the letter, “otherwise the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.”
“Member States must recover and dispose of waste in a manner that does not endanger human health and the environment, prohibiting the abandonment, dumping or uncontrolled disposal of waste. Waste must be treated without risk to water, air, soil, plants, or animals, without causing a nuisance through noise or odours, and without adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest,” the European Commission said.
The EC also asked Romania to fully transpose into national law Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
“The Directive contributes to protecting biodiversity in the European Union. If its provisions are not correctly transposed, this can undermine its conservation objectives,” the Commission said.
“Among other problems, the Romanian legislation does not explicitly mention that conservation measures contained in management plans need to take into account the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types and species present on the sites. This has a direct impact on the quality of the management plans as they may not contain the necessary measures to protect these habitat types and species. The national law also limits the scope of a key provision of the Directive to activities within Natura 2000 sites. This excludes all other potential causes of deterioration or disturbance originating outside the sites,” the EC added.
Romania has two months to remedy the situation, otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.
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