EU warns Italy, Belgium over waste rules

BRUSSELS, Belgium, June 25, 2009 -- EU regulators have threatened to fine Italy for ignoring warnings to bring its wastewater treatment and garbage collecting standards in line with EU rules...

BRUSSELS, Belgium, June 25, 2009 -- EU regulators have threatened to fine Italy for ignoring warnings to bring its wastewater treatment and garbage collecting standards in line with EU rules.

EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas says "uncontrolled disposal' of waste and untreated urban wastewater in Italy "present serious hazards" to human health. Italy has failed to heed a 2007 EU court order to comply with EU rules that require governments to pick up garbage and dispose of it safely.

Belgium has also been warned it could face fines if it does not upgrade its urban wastewater treatment. The EU says all Belgian regions lack sufficient cleanup systems.

The EU said Thursday the two countries could face daily fines of thousands of euros if they fail to comply.

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