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Parliamentary questions
24 August 2007
Answer given by Mr Dimas on behalf of the Commission

The Commission has assessed the information provided concerning the project for the modernisation of the waste recycling facility in Marsascala, Malta for compliance with relevant EU legislation, notably the EIA Directive(1). The EIA Directive (the directive) requires that certain public and private projects likely to have significant effects on the environment are assessed before development consent can be granted.

In this case, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study has been undertaken for the project. The Commission has examined the EIA study and has not detected any manifest incompliance with the requirements of the directive. Under the provisions of the EC Treaty, the Commission has powers to control whether or not obligations under Community legislation have been correctly observed.

In relation to the decision to choose the specific site, the Commission notes that the choice of the location of individual projects in Member States is the exclusive competence of the national authorities concerned. Therefore, with regard to the detailed arrangements for the public consultation and the choice of the location, the Commission does not have any power to intervene.

For the time being and on the basis of the information available to the Commission, in light of the issues addressed above, the Commission concludes that it is not possible to identify a violation of Community law in relation to the project for the modernization of the waste recycling plant at Sant'Antnin, Marsascala, to be funded under the 2004‑06 programming period.

The Commission understands that a separate development consent process for an extension to the site has been made. On the basis of the information made available, the Commission has not been able to identify a breach of EU environmental legislation in relation to this new proposal.

The Commission notes that the upgraded Sant'Antnin plant should contribute significantly to enhancing the environmental sustainability of the waste cycle in Malta through the reduction of the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Landfilling of waste is the least efficient method of waste treatment in terms of land use, as well as the worst method in terms of overall environmental impact. The development of a modern waste recycling facility is in line with the structural fund priorities identified for Malta.

(1)Directive 85/337/EEC as amended by 97/11/EC and 2003/35/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.

OJ C 45, 16/02/2008
Last updated: 7 November 2007Legal notice