Fears that 'dangerous' official decree paves way for concreting of French regions


The French authorities have quietly issued a decree to state officials in some regions that allows them to depart from the normal rules when it comes to projects concerned with the environment, farmland, forests, local development projects and urban policy. The rules are being relaxed as part of an experiment to give decision makers in certain regions greater flexibility. But lawyers representing environmental groups say the move could open the way to more projects that cause pollution and are harmful for the environment. One has called the decree 'absurd and dangerous'. Jade Lindgaard reports.

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Critics see it as an early 2018 gift for concrete suppliers and those whose actions pollute natural underground water reserves. Since January 1st state officials in some regions of France have been authorised to depart from the usual regulatory standards in relation to projects concerning the environment, farming, forests, local development, urban policy and house-building. Indeed, the list of subjects covered by the relaxation in rules is so broad that it is hard to see what, if any, limits there are.