EU Common Position





CONFERENCE ON ACCESSION Brussels, 22 June 2001
TO THE EUROPEAN UNION
- LITHUANIA - CONF-LT 48/01

EUROPEAN UNION COMMON POSITION
(Replaces doc. 20733/00 CONF-LT 54/00)

Chapter 22: Environment
This position of the European Union is based on its general position for the Accession Conference with Lithuania (CONF-LT 2/00), and is subject to the negotiating principles endorsed by the Conference (CONF-LT 14/00), in particular:
- any view expressed by either party on a chapter of the negotiations will in no way prejudge the position which may be taken on other chapters;
- agreement - even partial - reached during the course of the negotiations on chapters to be examined successively may not be considered as final until an overall agreement has been established".
The EU underlines the importance for Lithuania of compliance with the Europe Agreement as well as the Accession Partnership, which constitute basic elements of the enhanced pre-accession strategy. The EU points out that, according to the Council conclusions of 24 September 1998 on Accession Strategies for the Environment, all new investment should comply with the environmental acquis.
The EU underlines that transposition of the environmental acquis into the national legal order and its implementation are major tasks, to be tackled with priority. Legal transposition should be completed at the latest by accession. First priority should be given to Community framework legislation (including access to information and environmental impact assessment) and measures relating to international conventions to which the Community is a party. Full implementation of these measures should be ensured as soon as possible, in order to allow for alignment of the sectoral legislation deriving from them.
In parallel, industry related legislation, reduction of global and trans-boundary pollution, as well as nature protection legislation (aimed at safeguarding bio-diversity), need early attention. In adopting the acquis, priority should also be given to those elements affecting the functioning of the internal market, including full compliance with product standards. Directive-specific implementation plans with timetables and milestones need to be prepared, including financing strategies and plans for securing public and private investments into infrastructure and technology. The implementation of these plans should start immediately. The EU also emphasises that early attention must be given to the building of a strong and well-equipped administration which is required for the application and enforcement of the environmental acquis. In addition Lithuania is invited, in line with Article 6 of the EC Treaty, to consider how early application of the principle of integration of environmental protection requirements in other policy areas can be achieved in order to contribute to sustainable development, in accordance with the Göteborg European Council conclusions.
The EU recalls that Lithuania, in its positions CONF-LT 34/00 and 35/01, accepts the acquis as in force on 31 December 1999 under this chapter while requesting some transitional measures.
The EU takes note of the additional information provided by Lithuania in CONF-LT 30/01 , 35/01 and 47/01. The EU notes the progress made by Lithuania in this chapter, in particular that the schedule for transposition has been further clarified, implementation and financing plans have been prepared and that the number and scope of requests for transitional periods has been reduced. The EU draws Lithuania's attention to the importance of ensuring adequate strengthening of the administrative capacity and overall coordination.
As an overall response to Lithuania's remaining requests for transitional periods, the EU recalls its general position that transitional measures are exceptional, limited in time and scope and accompanied by a plan with clearly defined stages for application. They must not involve amendments to the rules or policies of the Union, disrupt their proper functioning or lead to significant distortions of competition. They must be accompanied by a plan which clearly defines stages for application of the acquis, and which is based on a resource mobilisation and financing plan indicating the sources of financing and on an overall institutional development plan.
Horizontal Legislation
With regard to reporting periods standardised by Directive 91/692/EEC, the EU notes Lithuania's statement that it will provide available data on a voluntary basis, as regards the respective periods prior to accession.
With regard to Decision 93/389/EEC as amended by Decision 1999/296/EC on monitoring and reporting of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, the EU notes that Lithuania will include fluorinated gases in the national programme, inventories and data reporting at the latest by the date of accession.
Air quality
The EU notes the further justification provided by Lithuania for its request under Directive 94/63/EC on control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations. The EU considers the request sufficiently limited in time and scope, in particular since installations will be gradually adapted in line with the priorities set in the Directive. The EU notes that upon accession compliance will be achieved for the 4 storage installations at terminals with a throughput greater than 50 000 tons per year, for the loading/unloading equipment of mobile containers at terminals with a throughput greater than 150 000 tons per year and for the loading into storage installations at service stations with a throughput greater than 1000 m3 per year. Moreover, mobile containers will be gradually adapted. The EU considers that the request does not appear to lead to significant distortions of competition, taking into account its limited scope and the investments needed to ensure compliance. The EU can therefore accept the requested transitional measure until 31 December 2005 and 31 December 2007 respectively, in accordance with the intermediate targets as set out in Annex 1 to this position.
The EU notes the additional information provided by Lithuania as regards transposition and implementation of the Directive 1999/30/EC on limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air.
As regards Directive 1999/32/EC on the reduction of sulphur content of certain liquid fuels, the EU welcomes the acceleration of transposition and the commitment made by Lithuania to ensure full compliance with the Directive at the latest by the date of accession as well as Lithuania's clarification regarding Article 3. The EU however underlines that derogations under Article 3, paragraph 2, can only be applied after accession if approved by the Commission.
Waste management
The EU welcomes that Lithuania has reduced the length and the scope of its request under Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. The EU notes that full transposition will be achieved in 2001 through adoption of the Law on packaging and waste management, the Law on product charges and rules on packaging and packaging waste management. The EU also notes that Lithuania plans to meet in 2004 the overall recycling target of 25 % and that the 15 % target for each packaging material will be reached in 2001 for paper and glass and in 2004 for metals and plastics. The overall recovery rate will be 21 % in 2003. The EU notes that the request is therefore limited to the overall recycling target, to the 15% recycling target for metals and plastics and to the overall recovery rate. Having carefully examined Lithuania's request, the EU considers that the request is limited in scope and time and that it does not appear to lead to significant distortions of competition, taking into account the recovery and recycling rates to be achieved by accession date and the investments necessary to achieve the recovery and recycling targets.
Considering also that Lithuania has provided a plan with clearly defined stages for application of the Directive, the EU can therefore accept the requested transitional measures for the overall recycling target until 31 December 2004, for the recycling target for metals and plastics until 31 December 2004 and the overall recovery rate until 31 December 2006 in accordance with the progression of recovery and recycling targets presented by Lithuania in document CONF-LT 30/01 (in Annex 2 to this position).
With regard to Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, the EU takes note of Lithuania's commitment to provide further information. In this context, Lithuania is invited to ensure transposition in accordance with its timetable indicated in CONF-LT 30/01 and to regularly inform the Commission on measures that will be implemented in order to give regeneration priority in practice.
As regards Directive 1999/31/EC on landfill of waste, the EU notes that Lithuania will ensure that the existing inert and hazardous waste landfills will be in compliance by the date of accession, respectively 16 July 2004 in accordance with the deadlines of the Directive for these types of landfills. The EU furthermore notes that no co-disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste takes place. The EU also notes that no landfilling will take place in non-complying landfills after 16 July 2009. The EU therefore notes that, according to the information provided, Lithuania should be able to comply with the Directive in accordance with the deadlines of the Directive, in particular since the after-care procedures as defined in Article 13 can be finalised after 16 July 2009, and that therefore no transitional measure is needed. Finally, the EU draws Lithuania's attention to the importance of proper transposition, if necessary by amending the rules for the construction, operation, closure and after-care of landfills. Particular attention should be given to underground storage, dredging spoil from the sea, permeability for inert landfills and deadline for compliance of existing landfills.
Water quality
The EU notes the additional information provided by Lithuania as regards its request for transitional measures under Directive 91/271/EEC on urban waste water treatment. The EU notes that Lithuania indicates that all waters discharging into the catchment area of the Baltic Sea will be treated as sensitive, i.e. that the whole territory will be identified as sensitive area. Having carefully examined Lithuania's request, the EU considers that it is limited in time taking into account the necessary adaptations to infrastructure and the investment costs. The EU also considers that the request is sufficiently limited in scope, given that it relates to collecting systems and treatment plants, not to industrial waste waters. Moreover, the EU considers that the request does not appear to lead to significant distortions of competition, given the scope of the Directive and the fact that industrial waste waters are not subject to the request. In addition, the EU notes that Lithuania has provided a plan with clearly defined stages for the application of the Directive, covering costs and financing strategies.
The EU can therefore accept the requested transitional measure with the following intermediate targets (see Annex 3 to this position): Collecting systems in line with Article 3 of Directive 91/271/EEC will be provided as from 31 December 2009 in all 84 agglomerations of a population equivalent above 2,000. Treatment in line with Article 5 of Directive 91/271/EEC will be provided from 31 December 2007 in 38 agglomerations with a population equivalent of more than 10 000, representing currently a total biodegradable load of about 2 484 500 population equivalents. As from 31 December 2009 treatment will be provided in 46 agglomerations with a population equivalent between 2,000 and 10,000, representing currently a total biodegradable load of about 199 300 population equivalents.
With regard to Directive 91/676/EEC on nitrate pollution from agricultural sources, the EU welcomes Lithuania's decision to withdraw its request for a transitional period and that it is ready to establish an action programme in 2003 and to begin its implementation by the date of accession. Furthermore, the EU welcomes that all new livestock units will comply upon accession and that all measures not requiring large investments will be made mandatory upon accession. The EU notes that Lithuania will implement the second action programme by 2008 ensuring progressive compliance for smaller farms. The EU notes also that Lithuania will apply Article 3(5) to its whole territory.
The EU takes note of the additional information provided by Lithuania in relation to Directives80/778/EEC and 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption. Having carefully examined this information, the EU considers that full implementation of Directive 98/83/EC can be ensured by the date of accession, taking into account the derogations possible under Article 9 of Directive 98/83/EC. In this regard, the EU takes note of Lithuania's confirmation that it will inform the Conference of the study on fluoride level exceedance and technical measures to solve the problem as soon as it is available and that it will ensure full compliance with Directive 98/83/EC, including Article 6 (Point of compliance), upon accession, and if necessary by making use of Article 9 of the Directive.
As regards discharges of dangerous substances into surface water (Directive 76/464 and “daughter” Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC and 86/280, amended by 88/347/EEC and 90/415/EEC), the EU notes that Lithuania will fully transpose the Directives in 2002, will review permits accordingly and will implement the Directives upon accession. The EU takes note of Lithuania's confirmation that it will regularly present results of the ongoing activities listed in Annex XXIII of CONF-LT 30/01 and that, with regard to List II substances, it will establish pollution reduction programmes upon accession for the entire territory. The EU furthermore takes note of Lithuania's confirmation that these programmes will include a legally binding deadline for implementation not later than 6 years after their establishment.
The EU draws Lithuania's attention to Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, which needs to be taken into account when implementing the acquis in the water sector.
Nature protection
The EU welcomes Lithuania's decision to withdraw its request for transitional measures under Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and under Directive 79/409/EEC on wild birds. The EU notes that Lithuania will apply upon accession the protection measures foreseen in Article 6 (2), (3) and (4) of the Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora for all sites included in the list of sites eligible as sites of Community importance. The EU also notes that Lithuania will designate special protection areas under Directive 79/409/EEC upon accession.
Noting Lithuania's position as regards amendments to the annexes of both Directives, the EU recalls the importance of these Directives for a balanced and sustainable development. The EU will come back to this issue at a later stage in the negotiations, when the examination of the scientific data has been completed and is in view of technical adjustments to be inserted in the Act of Accession.
As regards Regulation (EC) 338/97 on trade of endangered species, the EU notes the information provided by Lithuania on implementation and enforcement.
Industrial pollution control and risk management
With regard to Directive 96/61/EC on integrated pollution prevention and control, the EU notes that Lithuania confirms that “new” installations as defined by the Directive will operate in accordance with the requirements of the Directive by the date of accession and “existing” installations as of 30 October 2007, as stipulated under the Directive.
As regards Directive 88/609/EEC on large combustion plants, the EU notes the information provided by Lithuania and will revert to this issue when putting forward technical adjustments to be inserted in the Act of Accession.
The EU also notes the information provided by Lithuania in relation to Directive 1999/13/EC on emissions of volatile organic compounds due to use of organic solvents in certain activities and installations, in particular on the transposition to be completed by 31 December 2002.
Chemicals and Genetically modified organisms
The EU notes the information provided on administrative and institutional resources and invites Lithuania to pursue with its efforts to implement the acquis in this sector. It should be noted that most of the acquis on chemicals is product-related and is thereby relevant for the functioning of the internal market. The EU will monitor the development of implementation efforts which are indispensable in the chemical sector.
As regards the Directive 98/8/EC on placing on the market of biocidal products, the EU welcomes the acceleration of the transposition by Lithuania.
With regard to Regulation (EEC) 3093/94 on ozone depleting substances, the EU notes the data provided by Lithuania and that since there is no production of ozone depleting substances in Lithuania, the data provided is based on imports.
With regard to Directive 90/219/EEC on the contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms and Directive 90/220/EEC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms, the EU notes that the Law on genetically modified organisms will be adopted in 2001 and subsequent legislation in 2002 - 2003. The EU takes note of Lithuania's confirmation that it will regularly inform the EU on progress achieved in this area.
Nuclear safety and radiation protection
The EU notes the information provided by Lithuania and recalls the General EU Position and the importance of the objective of a high level of nuclear safety and environmental protection.
* * *
Subject to Lithuania's acceptance of the above considerations, the EU notes that, at this stage, this chapter does not require further negotiations. Monitoring of the progress in the adoption and implementation of the acquis will continue throughout the negotiations. A final assessment on the conformity of the Lithuanian legislation and policies with the acquis and its implementation can only be made at a later stage of the negotiations. Particular consideration needs to be given to the links between the present chapter and other negotiation chapters, such as Free Movement of Goods, Agriculture, Transport Policy, Taxation, Energy (in particular the internal market in electricity), as well as Consumers and Health Protection. In addition to the information the EU may require for the negotiations on this chapter and which is to be provided to the Conference, the EU invites Lithuania to provide regularly detailed, written information to the Association Council on progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis.
In view of the above considerations, the EU may return to this chapter at an appropriate moment.
Furthermore, the EU recalls that there may be new acquis between 1 January 2000 and the conclusion of the negotiations.
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ANNEX 1: Intermediate targets under Directive 94/63/EEC on control of volatile compound (VOC) emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations

Installation
Number
Proposed implementation
Storage installations at terminals (2 in the North of Lithuania, 2 in the middle of the country) >50,000 t/y Article 3, Annex I
4
1.1.2004
Storage installations at terminals > 25,000 t/y Article 3, Annex I
1
31.12.2007
Storage installations at terminals < 25,000t/y Article 3, Annex I
9
31.12.2007

Loading/unloading of mobile containers at terminals > 150,000 t/y Article 4, Annex II
2
1.1.2004
Loading/unloading of mobile containers at other terminals Article 4, Annex II
12
31.12.2007


Mobile containers
140 road, 1900 railway
31.12.2005
Loading into storage installations at service stations > 1000 m3/y Compliance with Annex III
232 (of which 72% comply already)
1.1.2004
Loading into storage installations at service stations > 500 m3/y Compliance with Annex III
137 (of which 48% comply already)
31.12.2007
Loading into storage installations at service stations < 500 m3/y Compliance with Annex III
248 (of which 22% comply already)
31.12.2007
ANNEX 2: Intermediate targets under Directive 94/62 on packaging and packaging waste
Recycling and recovery targets for each packaging waste fraction


% of recycling and recovery

31/12/2001
31/12/2002
31/12/2003
31/12/2004
31/12/2005
31/12/2006
Paper and cardboard
16
18
23
35
40
55
Glass
20
20
25
35
40
60
Plastics
2
2
10
16
18
25
Metals
5
5
10
15
25
40
Total
15
16
21
32
37
52
Recycling targets of packaging waste

% of recycling

31/12/2001
31/12/2002
31/12/2003
31/12/2004
31/12/2005
31/12/2006
Paper and cardboard
16
16
20
30
35
40
Glass
20
20
25
35
40
60
Plastics
2
2
10
15
15
20
Metals
5
5
10
15
25
40
Total
15
15
20
29
33
43
(Source: CONF-LT 30/01)
ANNEX 3: Transitional measures under Directive 91/271/EEC on urban waste water treatment
Construction of collecting systems and waste water treatment

Area/agglomeration
No. of Agglomerations
p.e. (% total) *
Implementation
CONSTRUCTION OF COLLECTING SYSTEMS (Article 3)
agglomerations of >10000 p.e. discharging into sensitive areas
38
2 484 500 (93 %)
31 December 2009
agglomerations of 2000-10000 p.e.
46
199 300 (7%)
31 December 2009
WASTE WATER TREATMENT (Articles 4,5)
agglomerations of >10000 p.e. discharging into sensitive areas
38
2 484 500 (93%)
31 December 2007
agglomerations of 2000-10000 p.e.
46
199 300 (7%)