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EurEau newsletter - April 2022

EurEau News

Speaking out

Carla Chiaretti, Head of Policy for EurEau, spoke about EU water policy at Irish Water Vision 2050 on 6 April.

Building on our stakeholder engagement within the Zero Pollution Platform, Eurocities invited us to speak about our work on microplastics. Anders Finnson, chairperson of our JWG on the WFD participated in their Environment Forum on 6 April.  

Oliver Loebel, EurEau Secretary General, addressed the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the UN 2023 Water Conference on 12 April.

EurEau President, Dr Claudia Castell-Exner, spoke at the Water Ireland conference on 28 April.

Oliver Loebel, presented our vision of What water protection goals does the EU set for 2050? (in German) at the VSA Congress in Lucerne, Switzerland on 28 April.

Anders Finnson will represent EurEau at the second session of the annual meeting of the MEP Interest Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) that will take place online on Tuesday, 17 May from 16.20 to 17.20 CEST.

Oliver Loebel will speak at the Regulate project board meeting on 25 May.

 

EU news

Water and agriculture

Action Plan on Nutrient Management: EurEau response submitted

We submitted our reaction to the call for evidence for this important action plan.

Nutrients (nitrogen & phosphorus) are essential for life and important natural resources. Yet nutrient loss leads to air, soil and water pollution, loss of biodiversity and a wide range of climate-change impacts.

Existing legislation has helped address this problem in recent decades. However, nutrient pollution and inefficiencies in the nutrient cycle require additional action at EU level to improve food security, protect human health and preserve the ecosystem.

 

SAIO Regulation: wrap up by the summer

Negotiations for the Statistics on Agricultural Input and Output (SAIO) Regulation are at trilogue stage. It is hoped that these trilogues will be finalised by 30 June 2022. Key sticking points continue to be the frequency of data collection, the type of data to be collected and public access to these data. Water suppliers need to have access to detailed and up-to-date information in order to conduct a meaningful risk assessment as required by the Drinking Water Directive.

EurEau is one of 79 signatories of a letter sent to the negotiating parties in February, in support of an ambitious regulation.

The SAIO aims to modernise EU agricultural statistics undertaken by the European Commission (Eurostat) in close cooperation with Member States.

 

Water and the environment

Textiles: Commission publishes Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles

As part of its Green Deal ambitions, the European Commission published (30 March) its Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. If implemented, it may reduce the pollutants load in waste water through the phasing out of hazardous chemicals and measures to limit microfibre release.

Microplastics released from textiles can make their way into waste water treatment infrastructure and later into the environment. Control at source measures to prevent microplastics from entering the cycle are both sustainable and effective and are key for delivering the circular economy.

We responded to the call for evidence (formerly known as a roadmap).

Read our briefing note on microplastics and water.

 

Industrial Emissions Directive: draft legislation published 

EurEau welcomes the publication of the draft Industrial Emissions Directive on 4 April. It proposes better access to information on chemicals used on sites and increased emphasis on control at source, with an environmental management system that will look specifically at hazardous substances. On the downside, the information flow to drinking water operators is not mentioned.

You can read the draft proposal here.

The IED aims to achieve a high level of protection of human health and the environment taken as a whole by reducing harmful industrial emissions across the EU, in particular through better application of Best Available Techniques (BAT).

 

Industrial Emission Directive Portal (New E-PRTR name)

The E-PRTR is being renamed to the Industrial Emission Directive Portal (IEDP). Annex 2 of the IEDP will become the list of substances to be considered under the IED for compliance. This list will be amended through delegated acts, aligned with the GWD and WFD requirements and dynamically linked to the IED.

The IEDP provides easily accessible key environmental data from industrial facilities in European Union Member States. It also covers Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and the UK.

 

Mercury Regulation: EurEau answer submitted

We answered the public consultation on the Mercury Regulation.  We are calling for a ban on dental amalgam (mercury) so that, in the future, the levels of mercury in sludge from waste water treatment will reduce and it will be possible to reuse the resultant high-quality sludge as a source of nutrients in a truly circular economy.

This Regulation focuses on further restricting the remaining uses of mercury in the EU, especially in dental amalgam and certain other mercury-added products, thereby contributing to the zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment, as announced in the European Green Deal.

 

REACH: EurEau responds to the public consultation

The ongoing targeted REACH revision will determine the way chemicals are regulated for years to come.

We submitted our response to the related public consultation. We also submitted feedback to the consultants working for the Commission on the Mixture Assessment Factor (MAF).

EurEau strongly advocates in favour of stronger control-at-source measures, including for persistent, mobile and toxic substances.

The REACH Regulation aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals. 

 

Energy files: Parliament committee publishes amendments

The amendments for the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) are published.

Regarding the EED, the European Commission should provide guidelines for energy audits and energy management systems for a certain energy consumption.

On ETS, the Liese report from the European Parliament could still create an issue for co-incineration, as it recommends that municipal waste incineration falls under it possibly by 2028, depending on an impact assessment. The report is due to be adopted in June.

The new Renewable Energy Directive (RED) proposes rules for the EU to achieve a 40% renewables target by 2030 while the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) calls for energy savings for the public sector and energy audits with the goal of reducing GHG emissions by 55% and contributing to other Green Deal initiatives.

 

End of Waste Status: JRC report ignores resource recovery from waste water streams

The Commission’s Joint Research Centre published their report defining a priority list of materials to obtain an EU End-of-Waste status. Regrettably, no material from waste water treatment streams has been selected, mainly because of a lack of data. The JRC decision will not facilitate compliance with the expected ambitions of the revised Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

The factsheets developed by EurEau and partners help inform the discussion.

Water as an essential service

 

Water Security Plan: towards a more Resilient Drinking Water Infrastructure

The ERNCIP Water group released the WSecP manual that deals with the implementation of security measures to counter hostile actions and deliberate waterborne contamination against the physical and cyber integrity of water supply systems. It also guides EU policy-makers on how to enhance CI security and resilience aspects. Read more

 

Other news

Ukraine: water system materials needed

IGWP (Poland) has set up a website in three languages with a list of needs in the Ukrainian water sector, in particular for materials and equipment. All actors in the European water sector are encouraged to check whether they can provide urgently needed aid.

Operators Without Borders and IGWP will soon issue a call for volunteers to participate in training sessions and to eventually go to Ukraine and help water utilities there. We will bring you more information as we have it.

 

EBC: 2022 Benchmarking exercise open for registration

Registration is open for the EBC’s 16th annual benchmarking exercise for drinking water and waste water utilities in Europe. 

More information about the exercise and registration is available in the Call to Register. The exercise will begin on 16 May.

 

HorizonEurope project ZeroPM launched

ZeroPM is a research project funded by Horizon Europe and will enable the EU Green Deal‘s ambition towards Zero Pollution of Persistent, Mobile Substances by targeting groups of PFAS, and PMT/vPvM substances.

The ZeroPM (Zero Pollution of Persistent, Mobile Substances) website is up and running: www.zeropm.eu. You will also find information of the upcoming events there, such as the September workshop on preventative strategies for PM substances. You can also watch some films about ZeroPM.

Pierre Pieronne (FP2E, France) represents EurEau on the project’s potential user board.

ZeroPM are also encouraging people to contribute to collecting data on where experts and non-experts think PFAS are found in everyday items.

 

Revised VAT Directive: Commission publishes

The EU Commission published the recently adopted Council directive 2022/542 as regards rates of VAT in the Official Journal.

The revised annex III, covering goods and services to which a reduced VAT rate of no less than 5% may be applied, now includes the "supply of services provided in connection with sewage". 

EurEau members should check whether this change may impact current rules in their country.

 

Report: European Groundwater Memorandum to secure the quality and quantity of drinking water for future generations

Water suppliers in the catchment areas of the major European rivers believe that a future-proof, climate-friendly, safe and affordable public drinking water supply for everyone requires the generation-spanning preservation of the usability of drinking water resources. The Groundwater Memorandum formulates five key requirements for the protection of naturally formed groundwater resources and thus complements the European River Memorandum (ERM) aiming at the protection of the surface water bodies.

 

Report: Svenskt Vatten on PFAS

There is a process ongoing in the EU to introduce a group ban on all PFAS – this will cover at least 4,700 variants. This report from Svenskt Vatten concludes with proposals for some measures that they believe will be crucial to addressing the PFAS problem in future. Upstream work is the key, that is to say ensuring that PFAS does not end up in our sewage systems, in soil and water. The only way to achieve this is to ban PFAS.

 

Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook – Stakeholder Workshop 24-25 May:

The first day of this hybrid, two-day event will be dedicated to the preparations for the first Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook. The second day will focus on preparations for the Integrated Nutrient Management Action Plan (INMAP) with a focus on integrated assessments and modelling of nutrients.

 

Updates from the WHO

The WHO has issued information and updates in several key areas.

  • WHO launches two documents on surveillance of SARS-COV-2 in wastewater

(Question & Answer document, Interim Guidance)

(here)

(https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240045064)

 

Events

11 May 2022 - From Waste to Value, online. Sixth edition of the DWP KnowNow webinar series. For more information about the webinar including the agenda, please check out the event page here. Register for the webinar

20-22 June 2022 - 4th European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, Vienna & hybrid ww.phosphorusplatform.eu/espc4.

19-22 June 2022 – Water Loss Conference, Prague, Czechia. www.waterloss2022.org

22-24 June 2022 - Water Safety Conference in Narvik, Norway. More.

23 August – 1 September 2022 – World water Week, Stockholm, Sweden. More

11-15 September 2022 - IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition; Water for smart liveable cities in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Call for Content is open and you can read more here.

12-15 September 2022 - LuWQ2022, 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land use and water quality: Agriculture and the Environment; Maastricht, The Netherlands.

27-28 October 2022 - Management of water and sewerage infrastructure in the context of resource reduction and depletion; Bucharest, Romania. More

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