Expansion of Vienna Airport approved by Austrian Supreme Administrative Court
In 2017, the court decision that did not permit the expansion of Vienna Airport had caused (inter)national attention. Subsequently, the Austrian Constitutional Court overturned this decision because climate protection had been taken into account in the EIA without any legal basis. In 2018, the Federal Administrative Court had then approved the so-called "third runway" and residents and citizens' initiatives had filed a complaint against it. On March 6th, 2019, the Supreme Administrative Court confirmed the permit.
In the opinion of the Supreme Administrative Court, all necessary approach and departure routes had been sufficiently examined and no harmful aircraft noise was to be expected as a result of the airport expansion. Regarding climate protection, the Supreme Administrative Court acknowledged that effects on the climate must indeed be taken into account within the framework of the EIA directive. However, due to the EU emissions trading system GHG emissions must not be attributed to the airport but to the operators of the airlines. The GHG emissions of the airport itself are therefore so low that they do not preclude a permit.
EU studies on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate must be disclosed
According to a judgement of the European General Court in case T-329/17, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) must disclose studies on the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate to human health. According to the Court it is not sufficient to publish raw data and findings. The content of the studies that led to the findings in the present case also relates to emissions to the environment and must thus be disclosed.
In its judgement, the European General Court mainly refers to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents and Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention. Their provisions also indicate the general principle that the public should have the widest possible access to information held by the institutions and bodies of the European Union. Therefore, a narrow interpretation of the requirement to disclose environmental information such as the studies on glyphosate thus is not justified.
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