European Court extends scope of environmental assessment rules

In a ruling concerning the interpretation of the 1985 EC Directive on environmental assessment of projects, the European Court of Justice has strengthened the scope of the Directive by curtailing Member States' powers to set absolute thresholds for Annex II projects below which assessment is never required. The Court also held that "modifications" of Annex II projects are caught by the Directive even though they are not expressly mentioned as such.

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