Brussels

Italy referred to European Court of Justice over landfills

EU asks tribunal to apply 56-mln-euro fine, plus daily penalties

Italy referred to European Court of Justice over landfills

Brussels, October 24 - The European Commission referred Italy to the European Court of Justice on Wednesday for how it manages its landfills, asking the tribunal to fine the eurozone's third-largest economy for failing to execute a 2007 court order. The Commission has asked the tribunal to apply a lump-sum fine of 56 million euros to Italy with additional daily sanctions of 256,819 euros a day until a 2007 ruling ordering the resolution of the problem is executed. The request Italy be fined originates from Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, according to a statement from the Commission. ''The problems still persist in almost all Italian regions,'' the statement said. ''The measures currently in place are not sufficient to resolve the problem in the long term''. Accordingly, the Commission is requesting that Italy act ''urgently'' to clear up the hundreds of illegal and uncontrolled landfills. There are some 255 landfills that need to be regulated, of which 16 hold toxic waste, according to the statement. Notwithstanding the commitments the Italian authorities made in 2007, the issues relating to only some ''31 landfills will be resolved by the end of 2012'', the Commission said.

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