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Illegal licence for the installation of a fuel storage site in the port of Alicante

Question écrite de M. Jordi CAÑAS - Commission européenne

Question de M. Jordi CAÑAS,

Diffusée le 18 avril 2024

Subject: Illegal licence for the installation of a fuel storage site in the port of Alicante

On 25 July 2019, the governing body of the Alicante Port Authority (APA) amended the licence granted to Terminales Marítimas del Sureste SL in order to allow XC Business 90 SL to use an area of the port to build and operate a fossil-fuel storage and distribution facility1. The facility of large fuel containers will be located 1 000 metres from residential areas, schools, cultural and community centres and beaches popular with tourists, as well as the marine areas of Tabarca island2 and Cabo de Huertas3, which are protected by the Natura 2000 network.

These plans are a danger to the local population and could seriously damage people’s quality of life, as well as posing a serious threat to the conservation of special protected habitats and marine biodiversity in protected areas. The plans are therefore an infringement of the Natura 2000 Directive 92/43/EEC4, especially given that the APA should have considered and made a statement about the environmental aspects of the plans, which it has failed to do.

In the light of this state of affairs:

Will the Commission look into this infringement of European legislation?

Submitted:19.4.2024

1 https://alicanteplaza.es/vecinos-puerto-revocar-concesion-depositos-alicante

2 LIC/ZEPA ES0000124

3 LIC/ZEPA ES5213032

4 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A31992L0043&qid=1713785094042

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 12 juin 2024

Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius on behalf of the European Commission (13 June 2024)

As mentioned in the reply to the Written Question E-000273/2024, the Seveso-III Directive (5) covers establishments where dangerous substances may be present in quantities exceeding certain thresholds (6), and sets rules to prevent major accidents and to limit the consequences of such accidents on human health and the environment.

These requirements include the production of a safety report; the deployment of a major accident prevention policy, information in case of accidents, and undertaking the necessary remedial measures.

Under the Habitats Directive (7) Member States must take measures to avoid the deterioration of habitats and significant disturbance of the species in Natura 2000 sites.

In addition, the competent authorities can agree to a project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the Natura 2000 site concerned (8), (9), (10).

Under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (11), projects listed under its Annex I, such as installations for storage of petroleum with a capacity of 200 000 tonnes or more, must be assessed for their impact on the environment. This directive provides for redress mechanisms at national level (12).

Member States have a primary responsibility to monitor the application of the relevant legal provisions and to take the necessary steps for enforcement.

In its role as guardian of the Treaties, the Commission will continue monitoring the situation and may decide to take appropriate action.

1 ∙ ⸱ https://alicanteplaza.es/vecinos-puerto-revocar-concesion-depositos-alicante

2 ∙ ⸱ LIC/ZEPA ES0000124

3 ∙ ⸱ LIC/ZEPA ES5213032

4 ∙ ⸱ https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A31992L0043&qid=1713785094042

5 ∙ ⸱ Directive 2012/18/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances,

amending and subsequently repealing Council Directive 96/82/EC Text with EEA relevance, OJ L 197, 24.7.2012, p. 1-37. 6 ∙ ⸱ Set to 50 tonnes for liquefied flammable gas; cf point 18 of Annex I Part 2. 7 ∙ ⸱ Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7-50. 8 ∙ ⸱ https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/11e4ee91-2a8a-11e9-8d04-01aa75ed71a1 9 ∙ ⸱ https://circabc.europa.eu/ui/group/3f466d71-92a7-49eb-9c63-6cb0fadf29dc/library/bb79f67f-907b-491c-b462-5e283ac5faa5? p=1&n=10&sort=modified_DESC 10 ∙ ⸱

Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 6(4). 11 ∙ ⸱

Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, OJ L 124, 25.4.2014, p. 1-18. 12 ∙ ⸱ National rules available to the public on access to justice in environmental matters in Spain: https://e- justice.europa.eu/300/EN/access_to_justice_in_environmental_matters
























| | ) The use of the redress mechanisms available at national level would be fully consistent with the Commission’s strategic approach on enforcement action, focused on cases of systemic non-compliance (13).

13 ∙ ⸱ As set out in the communication of 19 January 2017 (EU law: Better results through better application — C/2016/8600, OJ C 18, 19.1.2017, p. 10-20) and in

the communication of 13 October 2022 COM(2022) 518 final — Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers. | | ( | | )

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