EurEau newsletter - September 2022
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Welcome Gari to the EurEau Secretariat
We are very pleased that Gari Villa-Landa Sokolova started working in the Secretariat this week.
Gari joins us from AEAS in Spain and brings her wealth of knowledge on water policy and EurEau with her. Most of you know Gari from her involvement in EurEau on behalf of AEAS since 2015, and especially as co-chairperson of EU3 since July 2021.
To start, Gari will work on (but not limited to) the UWWTD, taxonomy, EQSD, the DWD and microplastics.
We are very excited to have Gari on board, and I am sure you will join us in welcoming her to this side of the EurEau team.
IED: EurEau position published
In April 2022, the Commission adopted proposals for revised EU measures to address pollution from large industrial installations. The proposed text meets most of the water service providers’ expectations by correcting some drawbacks of the current directive regarding the protection of water bodies. Our full position is here.
Pesticides: EurEau releases position on sustainable pesticide use
EurEau published its position paper on the draft Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products Regulation calling for ambitious measures to protect drinking water resources. Our full position is available here.
CLP Regulation: EurEau welcomes the addition of mobile chemicals
We welcome the Commission’s proposed delegated regulation amending the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation as published on the 20 September 2022. Our statement is here.
Update from Ukraine
The Association of Water Utilities of Ukraine shared some information with us regarding the ongoing situation there.
You can read their online journal (in Ukrainian and English) on the water supply and wastewater collection and treatment during the war, or watch a video on the water sector challenges during the war. You can also watch a video on water supply in the Sumi region and the Mykolaiv region during the war. There is a video here of the situation at the beginning of the war.
Our Ukrainian colleagues are still collecting donations for the Ukrainian water and waste water works association. You can find out more here.
Anders Finnson, chairperson of our JWG WFD gave an ‘Igniting Pitch’ at the IWA World Water Congress in Copenhagen on 12 September.
EurEau Secretary General, Oliver Loebel, spoke at the Lviv EcoForum in Ukraine (online) on 15 September.
Oliver represented us at Utilitalia’s Festival dell’Aqua conference on 21-23 September on the European Water Agenda: between priorities and feasibility panel.
Oliver also spoke at the Danube-Eastern Europe Regional Water Forum in Sibiu, Romania on 28-30 September.
Bertrand Vallet, EurEau Senior Policy Officer, will be in Linköping, Sweden, for the Nordic Biogas Conference 2022 on 3-6 October, speaking about EU legislation on sludge and waste water.
We will also be represented at the UfM-EU High Level Conference on Water Finance and Investment Policies (pre-COP 27 event), Cairo, Egypt, on 17 October (online), when Oliver takes the floor.
The following day, Oliver will speak at the Swiss/Baden-Württemberg workshop on micro-pollutants, Friedrichshafen, Germany on 18 October (online).
Water and agriculture
Sustainable Use of Pesticides: Member States want lower ambition
Following the presentation of the draft Regulation on June 2022, a non-paper signed by 10 Member States was circulated in the Council calling on the European Commission to carry out a new impact assessment, taking into account the Ukraine war and ensuring food security. More specifically, it asks to determine the socio-economic impact of the ban of chemical pesticides in sensitive areas. The initiative is also supported by several non-signatories.
EurEau sees this draft regulation as an important tool to protect drinking water resources and keep water treatment costs under control. Weakening the Commission proposal would again put the burden of public health protection on drinking water suppliers.
Fertilising Product Regulation
The European Commission closed its survey to anticipate the needs for component material categories in the Fertilising Product Regulation on 16 September. Our answer and the corresponding table is here.
We presented some materials that can be recovered from waste water but also asked to keep the process of collecting new material in the future. Indeed, there is a lot of innovation around the recovery of resources from waste water treatment and we hope that more products will be available in the future even if they are not ready to be considered at the moment.
The Fertiliser Regulation lays down common rules on safety, quality and labelling requirements for fertilising products.
Soil health Law: Public consultation ongoing
The European Commission launched its public consultation this summer on the Soil Health Law. We are preparing our answer for this important piece of legislation that aims to protect a crucial media for the protection of groundwater. You can answer the consultation here by 24 October.
Soil health is crucial for achieving key objectives of the European Green Deal such as climate neutrality, biodiversity restoration, zero pollution, healthy and sustainable food systems and a resilient environment.
Water and the environment
Commission takes action to implement SUP Directive
The Commission is taking legal steps against 11 Member States, calling on them to step up the implementation of the Single-Use Plastics Directive in order to reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and on human health. Read more…
Classification, Labeling and Packaging (CLP): Commission proposes new hazard classes
The Commission published a draft delegated regulation amending the CLP. It introduces new hazard classes and criteria, i.e. PBT (persistent, bio accumulative and toxic), vPvB (very persistent and very bio accumulative), ED (endocrine disruptors) and, very important for the protection of the water resources, PMT (persistent, mobile and toxic) and vPvM (very persistent and very mobile).
This represents the first step to classifying hazardous chemicals as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and taking preventive measures to eventually restrict/phase out their use and thus protecting our health and the water resources. Consumers will benefit in the long run, as water operators will have less cause for the use of costly treatment processes to remove them.
The objective of this Regulation should be to determine which properties of substances and mixtures should lead to a classification as hazardous to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment as well as the free movement of substances, mixtures and articles.
RED: Parliament votes
The rapporteur for the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), Markus Pieper MEP (EPP, Germany), presented 26 September the RED IV proposal to the Parliament’s ITRE Committee. This fourth revision is legally necessary to approve some changes voted before the summer at the Parliament under RED III, introducing amendments based on REPowerEU. The EP adopted the amendments on the RED III proposal on the 14 September. Both versions will be merged during the trilogue process, which is ongoing and is expected to finish by the end of the year.
The RED establishes common principles and rules to remove barriers, stimulate investments and drive cost reductions in renewable energy technologies and empowers citizens, consumers and businesses to participate in the clean energy transformation.
EED recast: amendments voted in the EP in first reading
The EED (Energy Efficiency Directive) amendments were adopted by the European Parliament on 14 September 2022. The EP voted a 14.5% energy savings target by 2030 compared to 2020, equivalent to a 42.5% savings in primary energy from 2007. It increases the public authorities’ savings to 2% per year up to 2030, which water service providers will be expected to contribute to. Once the Directive becomes effective, energy audits will be mandatory every four years.
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.