The first article deals with the amendment of the Austrian Waste Management Act (AWG). The main reason for the amendment is the entry into force of the revised Waste Framework Directive of the EU. However, the draft misses out on the chance to legally support re-usable packing for beverages. The support is necessary because, due to a lack of effective regulation, this type of packing has lost most of its market share even though it is more ecologically friendly. Another point of criticism concerns public participation in the creation of a federal waste management plan: the public is involved only very late, when complete document is presented. In practice only small changes are made at this point of development. But there are also positive aspects regarding this amendment. The explicit promotion of waste transport via railway instead of road is one example.
The second article deals with the controversial genetically modified potato Amflora, which contains an Antibiotic Resistance Marker Gene and thus poses medical risks. In March 2010, the European Commission authorised the placing on the market of this potato. Justice and Environment submitted a request for internal review (method to check decisions by EU-organs based on the Aarhus Regulation 1367/2006/EC) on this subject to the European Commission and, depending on the outcome, will consider a lawsuit to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
A court ruling has stopped the expansion of Heathrow Airport (London) as regards a third runway at least for the moment. Environmentalists who fear in particular increased noise and air pollution levels as a result of the expansion celebrate the ruling as a success. However, the ruling does not explicitly obviate the construction of a third runway but it demands a revision of the underlying policy decisions, in particular with regard to developments in climate change and the new British Climate Protection Act. Authorities have to show how it will be possible to reach Britains CO2 reduction goals in case of an expansion of Heathrows capacities.
geändert am 02.06.2010