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EU environment policy puts focus on soil quality

EU environment policy puts focus on soil quality
BRUSSELS - Soil is the next big green challenge for the European Union, the EU\'s executive Commission, the body which drafts most of the bloc\'s environmental legislation, said.
\"We are placing soil protection on a level with cleaning up our water and air,\" EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said in a statement. Eroded, polluted and dried-out soil poses a serious threat to human health and the environment, the Commission said in a policy paper, promising to bring out a range of policies in the coming years to address the issue. Certain farming practices, industrial pollution and the encroachment of buildings and roads were the main culprits to be dealt with, the Commission said. Over the next two years it will draft policies on industrial emissions that contaminate soil, procedures for disposing of mining waste and a revision of EU sewage regulations. In 2004 it plans to present a complete strategy on soil protection, including rules on monitoring soil quality in member states. REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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