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11. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/69

(98/C 76/155) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2044/97

by Laura González Álvarez (GUE/NGL), Pedro Marset Campos (GUE/NGL)
and Marı́a Sornosa Martı́nez (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(13 June 1997)

Subject: Construction of a toxic waste treatment and processing plant in Baracaldo (Vizcaya, Spain)

Toxic waste derived from lindane, a pesticide, is causing severe environmental problems in the district of
Baracaldo (Vizcaya, Spain).

The Basque authorities intend to build a plant for the treatment of lindane in pure form, which will be processed
into trichlorobenzene, a highly toxic and polluting product.

The project has aroused deep concern among the public, for various reasons:
− the plant’s proximity to built-up areas, such as the Hospital de Cruces,
− the fact that it involves a highly toxic and hazardous product,
− the dangers it could pose to public health and the environment.

1. Does the Commission know whether the project is being funded by the EU?

2. Does it not consider that the project should fulfil the general requirements of Directive 96/61/EEC (1) on
integrated pollution prevention and control?

3. What representations does the Commission intend to make to the relevant authorities to ensure that
Directive 91/689/EEC (2) on hazardous waste is properly applied, together with Community legislation on waste?

4. Does the Commission know whether an environmental impact assessment has been carried out in
accordance with Directive 85/337/EEC (3)?

5. Is the Commission aware of the health risks posed by a plant of this kind, located in a densely-populated

(1) OJ L 257, 10.10.1996, p. 26.

(2) OJ L 377, 31.12.1991, p. 20.
(3) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40.

Answer given by Mrs Wulf- Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(24 July 1997)

1. On 17 December 1996, the Commission decided to finance under the Cohesion Fund the project for the
construction in Baracaldo of a plant for the treatment of lindane in pure form, to be processed into
trichlorobenzene. The purpose of the project is precisely to solve the environmental and public health problems
generated by the existence of this product classified as being toxic, an irritant and hazardous to the environment.

2. Council Directive 96/61/CE (1) of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and
control is not yet applicable. Indeed, Member States must transpose it into national law by 30 October 1999 at the

3. Spain has not yet communicated the national measures for transposing Council Directive 91/689/EEC (2) of
12 December 1991 on hazardous waste. The Commission brought an action to the Court of Justice against Spain
for failure to fulfil an obligation under Article 169 of the EC Treaty (Case C-72/97). The Court of Justice has not
yet given its judgement. Moreover, by judgement pronounced on 5 June 1997, the Court of Justice condemned
Spain for not having transposed Directive 91/156/EEC (3) of 18 March 1991 amending Directive 75/442/EEC on
waste within the time limit set by Article 2 thereof (1 April 1993).

4. The Commission confirms that the project for the plant for the treatment of the hexachlorocyclohexane in
question was subject to the environmental impact assessment procedure in accordance with Council Directive
85/337/EEC (4) of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the
environment. The declaration on the project’s environmental impact was published in the Boletin Oficial del Paı́s
Vasco No 166 of 30 August 1996.
C 76/70 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3. 98

5. The environmental impact study in question establishes that the transformation of lindane into
trichlorobenzene constitutes the optimum solution to the problem on account, in particular, of the following
factors: on the one hand, treatment on the spot avoids any risk of volatilization of the lindane and subsequent
contamination during transport, and on the other, the plant is a temporary installation and will be destroyed after
the processing of 4 500 tonnes of pure lindane.

(1) OJ L 257, 10.10.1996.

(2) OJ L 377, 31.12.1991.
(3) OJ L 78, 26.3.1991.
(4) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.

(98/C 76/156) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2048/97

by Gianni Tamino (V) to the Commission
(13 June 1997)

Subject: Conditions for the transport of live animals

On 16 May 1997 a local veterinary official in Latisana (Udine) blocked for 48 hours a lorry-load of 50 Rottweiler
puppies and 20 pedigree kittens crowded into four containers designed to hold two. The lorry (registration
EJR832), which had arrived from Hungary by means of the Gorizia crossing and was bound for SARL Francis
Duprat in Montespan, France, had no proper ventilation and had been closed for over 24 hours owing to engine
problems. Having established that the animals, which were in a disastrous state of health, had been taken
temporarily to the kennels in Porpetto (Udine) for appropriate treatment, the local anti-vivisection league, on the
basis of the data in its possession, asked for a check to be made on whether the carriers and those responsible for
the delivery had infringed national law (Law No 473 of 22 November 1993 on new rules against the maltreatment
of animals, amending Article 727 of the Criminal Code and Decree-Law No 532 of 30 December 1992
implementing Directive 91/628/EEC (1) on the protection of animals during transport).

Twenty-four hours after the animals had been unloaded, given the availability of alternative means of transport,
another local veterinary official would appear to have granted authorization for the journey to be continued,
without taking any action against those responsible.

What clarifications does the Commission intend to seek in connection with this matter, with particular regard to
the controls carried out on the lorry’s arrival on EU territory at the Gorizia crossing?

What action does it intend to take in response to the mounting evidence of young domestic animals being
imported for commercial purposes from eastern European countries, which raises serious ethical and health

(1) OJ L 340, 11.12.1991, p. 17.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(17 July 1997)

Directive 91/628/EEC on the protection of animals during transport, amended by Directive 95/29/EEC (1),
includes rules for the transport of dogs and cats.

Article 11 states that the transporter must give a written undertaking to comply with the requirements of this
Directive (including the annex concerned) and must make arrangements to comply with these requirements. The
official veterinarian at the frontier post must check on compliance with these requirements as well as compliance
with feeding and watering requirements of the Directive.

The Commission will take contact with the Italian authorities on the matters raised by the Honourable Member,
especially to obtain precise information as to what happened at the frontier post concerned and also to have
particulars of the actions taken to block the transport temporarily and subsequently to grant authorization for
continuing the journey.

(1) OJ L 148, 30.6.1995.