The EU Commission has given Portugal two months to begin work on the remediation of the decommissioned São Pedro da Cova coal mines in Gondomar near Porto. Some 320,000 tonnes of hazardous wastes have been stored in the mine without a permit and the material was now contaminating the groundwater, said the Commission on Wednesday, when it announced that it had initiated the second phase of infringement proceedings against Portugal and had sent the member state a reasoned opinion. If Portugal fails to respond before the end of the two-month period, the Commission may elect to bring the case before the European Court of Justice.
Italy, Romania and Slovenia will be sent reasoned opinions for failing to adequately report to the Commission on the transposition of European regulations on the storage of metallic mercury considered as a waste into their national law. Sweden will receive a reasoned opinion related to the transposition of the Mining Waste Directive in this latest batch of infringement proceedings.