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C 304/28 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

Apart from residues of herbicides and fungicides, those investigations also concern chemical substances which
adversely affect, for example, oestrogen levels in wild hare and significantly diminish fertility. Since it is highly
probable that the dicarboximides, which have Vinclozolin as their active ingredient and are frequently used in
plant protection products, adversely affect mammals, the question naturally arises as to whether the ‘final
consumers’ − human beings − are at risk.

I should therefore like to know whether the Commission is aware of such investigations and whether it has
carried out any investigations itself in order to assess the possibility of such potential danger for consumers,
and/or what possible countermeasures have already been taken?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(25 March 1998)

Vinclozolin as an active substance used in plant protection products is currently undergoing detailed scientific
evaluation in the framework of Regulation (EEC) No 3600/92 of 11 December 1992 (1) laying down the detailed
rules for the implementation of the first stage of the programme of work referred to in Article 8(2) of Council
Directive 91/414/EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (2). The evaluation
report of the rapporteur Member State has been received by the Commission and will be submitted to review by
specialised experts (peer review) from March to July 1998.

Studies on mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, together with other toxicological
and ecotoxicological data are being duly investigated by them.

After the peer review the examination will be finalised in the standing committee on plant health. On the basis of
the evaluation a decision will be taken. If it were concluded that the risks posed by this substance are
unacceptable for humans, animals or the environment, its use will be restricted or forbidden.

The Commission has been active in substantial research on the identification and assessment of endocrine
disrupting substances. It is also involved in research coordination with Member States and with third countries
such as the United States and Japan.

In addition the Commission and the Member States are active in developing new test strategies and new test
methods on international level. The results of these activities will be published in internationally available data
banks and if necessary be used in the context of an amendment of the data requirements for plant protection
products laid down in Council Directive 91/414/EEC.

(1) OJ L 366, 15.12.1992.
(2) OJ L 230, 19.8.1991.

(98/C 304/39) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0072/98
by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: Pollution of drinking water springs in Ioannina

Drinking water from the Toumba springs in Ioannina (Greece) which supply water for over 45 000 persons faces
a very serious risk, because Elviex, a timber impregnation plant, has been set up directly above the springs,
notably in the village of Perivleptos in the Prefecture of Ioannina. This plant impregnates timber with the
dangerous toxic substance creosote oil. The phenols and the other hydrocarbons contained in the creosote oil
pollute the soil, the atmosphere and the groundwater of the region. These substances are known to be
carcinogenic.

This company is violating international environmental protection treaties and the relevant Community
legislation.

What action does the Commission intend to take to put an end to the continuing pollution of the environment by
the above company?
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/29

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(5 March 1998)

The Commission will make the necessary contacts in order to obtain all available information on the matter
described. It will not hesitate to initiate the procedure provided in Article 169 of the EC Treaty, should this prove
necessary.

(98/C 304/40) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0078/98
by Patricia McKenna (V) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: Driftnets

Although the Italian Government has promised to support a complete ban on the use of driftnets, the Italian
fisheries union La Pesca recently met with the European Commission seeking an exemption for driftnets of 8 km
and under.

What discussions did the Commission have with the Italian Government following that meeting? What steps has
the Commission taken to ensure that Italy fulfills its obligations to ban the use of driftnets?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission
(9 March 1998)

The Commission did not meet Italian fishermen’s associations recently on the subject of the length of driftnets
permitted for fishing. The Commission does not envisage any exemption to the current Community rules on
driftnet length.

The Commission is monitoring the progress of the Italian plan for the restructuring of the driftnet fleet. It is
hoped that the Italian fishermen and boat owners will strongly support the plan.

(98/C 304/41) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0080/98
by Patricia McKenna (V) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: Incineration of domestic waste

When will the Commission be publishing the draft directive on dioxin emissions from the incineration of
domestic waste?

Can the Commission give details of the main proposals which will be contained in the draft directive?

Will the Commission be making any proposals to encourage more environmentally sustainable forms of waste
management, especially recycling, reduction and reuse, over incineration and landfill?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(13 March 1998)

The Commission discussed with Member States experts a working paper on incineration of waste twice last year
and on 26 February 1998. The adoption of a proposal for a Council directive on waste incineration is foreseen for
autumn this year.