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C 261 E/6

Official Journal of the European Communities

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18.9.2001

It should be noted that Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1164/94, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1264/

1999, lays down an indicative allocation of the total resources of the Cohesion Fund among the beneficiary Member States for the period 2000-2006. The Commission will do everything possible to respect these allocations, which reflect a political commitment given at the Berlin European Council. It should also be remembered that the commitments for 2000 plus those from 2000 carried over to 2001 exhaust the allocation. Adjustments may be made between the Member States eligible under the Cohesion Fund so that finally these allocations are fully used by the beneficiary countries.

( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( 3 )

OJ L 130, 25.5.1994. OJ L 161, 26.6.1999. OJ L 356, 31.12.1977.

(2001/C 261 E/006)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3726/00

by Nicholas Clegg (ELDR) to the Commission

(30 November 2000)

Subject: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted in the UK from unnatural sources

Road transport is responsible for the largest amount of VOC emitted in the UK from unnatural sources.

The stage I Directive (94/63/EC) ( 1 ) has been adopted to control VOC emissions from the storage and distribution of petrol, from terminals to service stations.

As emissions released when a vehicle is refuelled account for even higher levels of VOCs, when will Stage

II recovery controls be introduced?

Furthermore, when will a national standard of air quality to include VOCs be adopted?

( 1 )

OJ L 365, 31.12.1994, p. 24.

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(1 February 2001)

There are many different sources of emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). In the United Kingdom in 1998 approximately 20 % of total emissions of NMVOCs came from road vehicle exhausts and a further 7 % from the evaporative losses from road vehicles. In addition, petrol distribution accounted for approximately 6 % of total British NMVOC emissions. This is to be compared to the emissions associated with solvent use (27 %), production processes (15 %), offshore oil & gas production (9 %) and natural sources (9 %).

Regarding air quality standards for NMVOCs the Commission has already brought forward a legislative proposal for benzene in air which is currently being discussed in Parliament and Council. Legislation for the other substances contained in Annex I of the Council Directive 96/62/EC of 27 September 1996, on ambient air quality assessment and management ( 1 ) has already been adopted or will be proposed in the near future.

Parliament and Council Directive 94/63/EC of 20 December 1994 on the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations, (State I), was adopted to limit the emissions of NMVOCs during the storage and distribution of petrol. In addition, there have been several Directives progressively limiting the exhaust emissions of NMVOCs from road vehicles and these are expected to reduce emissions substantially over the next ten years. Furthermore, Directive 98/70/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC ( 2 ) established the environmental specifications for petrol including the vapour pressure and this is expected to reduce evaporative emissions during re-fuelling.

18.9.2001

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Official Journal of the European Communities

C 261 E/7

The Commission has brought forward a proposal for a directive of the Parliament and of the Council on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants ( 3 ) as part of the Community’s strategy to combat ground level ozone. This sets emissions ceilings for NMVOCs and nitrogen oxides amongst others. This directive, when adopted, will leave Members States the flexibility to meet their particular emission ceiling in the most cost-effective way subject to there being complementary Community measures where these are appropriate.

The Commission has, therefore, no immediate plans to bring forward a proposal to establish Stage II vapour emission controls on the re-fuelling of petrol cars. However, possible additional measures to reduce emissions of NMVOCs will be kept under review in the context of the continued development of Community policies on air pollution.

( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( 3 )

OJ L 296, 21.11.1996. OJ L 350, 28.12.1998. OJ C 56 E, 29.2.2000.

(2001/C 261 E/007)

Subject: Scrapie

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3777/00

by Marie-Noëlle Lienemann (PSE) to the Commission

(4 December 2000)

Can the Commission indicate what action it is taking to control scrapie?

What practical measures has the Commission set up to study the transmission of BSE to sheep?

What results are available at present with regard to the risks of transmission of BSE from one sheep to another through blood transfusion and what measures does the Commission intend to take in this respect?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(7 March 2001)

Scrapie belongs to a group of fatal progressive neurodegenerative diseases collectively known as transmis- sible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Unlike bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which is considered transmissible to man causing variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (vCJD) in humans, scrapie has been recognised for centuries in sheep and goats without indications that it could affect humans.

However, the presence of scrapie in the Community is a serious concern to the Commission, as scrapie and BSE in sheep are indistinguishable under field conditions and sheep have been demonstrated to be susceptible to infection with the BSE agent under experimental conditions. While there is currently no evidence that BSE has been transmitted to sheep, other than experimentally, the Commission has chosen to take a precautionary approach. A range of Community measures have been introduced, such as the removal of specified risk materials from sheep, a ban on the feeding of meat-and-bone meal to sheep and active surveillance for the presence of scrapie. It has also co-financed scrapie control programmes for several years in a number of Member States. Furthermore, there are extensive provisions on scrapie surveillance and eradication and for contingency plans in the event that BSE is ever discovered in sheep in the Commission proposal for a regulation on TSEs ( 1 ), which recently was agreed in the Council.