Water and agriculture
Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation: rapporteur presents report
The European Parliament’s Rapporteur (Sarah Wiener (Greens/EFA, Austria) for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR) published their report on the proposed legislation in February, highlighting that water resources should be better protected and polluters should be financially responsible for any environmental damage they incur. Read more … You can read our position here.
Soil Health: final summary
The Soil Health Final Summary report following the consultation period is available. The Commission’s proposal for a Soil Health Law is expected in June.
Water and the environment
WFD, EQSD and GWD: EurEau position published
The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee Rapporteur (Brglez, S&D, (Slovenia) for the Directive amending the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Environmental Quality Standards Directive (EQSD) and Groundwater Directive (GWD) published their report on the proposed legislation on 20 February, introducing amendments to apply an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme to cover the costs of monitoring. You can read it here.
We published our position on the Commission proposal where we support the enlargement of the list of priority substances, as stricter quality standards (EQS) should lead to the better protection of water resources. Our main request is that source-control measures should be clearly prioritised in the three directives if the EQS are exceeded, and we call for enhanced coherence in upstream regulations (REACH, IED, pharma, PPP and alignment with the DWD and UWWTD) to tackle pollution before turning to end-of-pipe measures (that should come with EPR).
Chemicals: PFAS restriction proposals progressing
ECHA pre-published the universal PFAS restriction proposal on 7 February. The restriction proposes a ban with time-limited derogations for some industrial uses.
PFAS, the so-called ‘forever chemicals’ pose substantial problems to water service providers. Only a full ban will ensure that our scarce water resources are sustainably protected from contamination.
EurEau welcomes the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) recent proposal for a group restriction comprising more than 10 000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), although we will submit input during the public consultation to support a full ban. Read more…
In parallel, ECHA is putting the final touches on the restriction proposal for PFAS in fire-fighting foams. While this is a step in the right direction, transition periods are too long and the polluter-pays principle is not implemented.
In related news, Le Monde published a report on the proliferation of PFAS in Europe. We were interviewed for it. You can read more here (in French).
IED: Oder disaster report calls for ambition
The European Commission and the European Environmental Agency (EEA) have published a report on last year’s ecological disaster in the river Oder, where 360 tonnes of fish were killed by a toxic algal bloom. Its conclusions reaffirm the need for ambition in the ongoing IED revision. Read more …