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Parliamentary questions
PDF 105kWORD 24k
7 December 2015
Question for written answer E-015514-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Uranium mine in Retortillo and other Spanish municipalities
 Answer in writing 

The Berkeley mining company (represented in the EU by the former Partido Popular minister Manuel Lamela) is looking to establish, in the municipality of Retortillo, Europe’s first open-cast uranium mine, together with other similar mines in the municipalities of La Alameda de Gardón and Gambuta, and a concentrate mine, which implies radioactive waste. The mining company began building a new plant in the municipality in 2012 on land purchased from the family of the then-mayor, who was also a member of the Partido Popular like Lamela and indeed the commissioner who gave the positive opinion for the building of the mine.

However, it has proven impossible to obtain a copy of the full report giving the go-ahead for the mine as this has been classified, contrary to the principle of transparency. We are therefore requesting access to the full report.

In the environmental impact assessment carried out by the Castilla y León government there is no mention of the radioactive nature of the waste. The mines are some 30 km from the Portuguese border, so that country, too, could be affected. Does this report comply with the information required in such cases as covered by Directive 2011/92/EU? Has it been passed on to the Portuguese authorities?

The planned venture is on a site of Community interest and a special bird protection zone, protected as part of the Natura 2000 network. Does the Commission agree that this constitutes a violation of the environmental requirements for such zones set out in Directive 1992/43/EEC? If so, will it freeze the plans as it has done in similar cases?

Original language of question: ES 
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