EU Environment Report: February 2012 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
EU Environment Report: February 2012

EU Environment Report: February 2012

In this issue:

(1) Chemicals:
(a) Public inventory of chemical hazard information launched
(b) Proposal for stricter controls on water pollutants
(c) New chemicals added to REACH restrictions and authorisation lists
(2) Climate Change: European Parliament committee votes to set aside ETS allowances
(3) Waste: EU end-of-waste criteria proposed for glass
(4) Other: French support for legislation clarifying the precautionary principle
(5) The Month Ahead: Workshops & Conferences

 

Public inventory of chemical hazard information launched
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched a searchable online inventory with hazard information on more than 100,000 substances. The information was collected under the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) regulation. The idea is that the inventory should list the classification of all the chemical substances used in the EU to allow identification of chemicals which may be hazardous to health or to the environment. The ECHA has warned that the inventory is based on self-classifications, and that it has not verified all of the notifications. The Public C&L Inventory does not contain contact details of notifiers or registrants.

Proposal for stricter controls on water pollutants
On 31 January, the European Commission put forward a proposal to add fifteen new chemicals to a list of so-called "priority" substances. These substances include six pesticides, three biocides, perfluorooctane sulphonates (PFOS), flame retardant HBCDD, dioxins and PCBs, and three pharmaceutical substances. The legislation aims at the progressive reduction of discharges, emissions and losses of priority substances. If the proposal were to become law, it would also introduce stricter environmental quality standards for certain priority substances. The proposal has now passed to the European Parliament and the Council, where its provisions will be debated and may be amended.

New chemicals added to REACH restrictions and authorisation lists
This month, a number of borates, nickel compounds and petrol derivatives have been added to the REACH restrictions list. This means that detergent makers will need to cut their use of borates by June 2013. REACH restrictions limit the manufacture, placing on the market or use of a substance. In addition, eight more chemicals have been added to the REACH authorisation list, including Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), lead chromate and Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP). Companies wishing to use substances on the list must send an application to the ECHA requesting authorisation for specified uses.

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