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The Council and the European Parliament reach informal agreement on priority substances in the field of water policy

Categorie: News, Nieuws, Nouvelles, Aktuelles

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council today endorsed the informal agreement reached with the European Parliament on the directive on priority substances in the field of water policy.

The text was negotiated in trialogue meetings between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission. To enter into force it still needs to be formally approved by the Parliament (tentative date July 2013) and by the Council (after the plenary vote in the Parliament).


The new directive amends two existing directives - directive 2000/60/EC laying down a strategy at EU level against pollution of water involving the identification of priority substances among those causing a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment. The second amended directive is directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, which lays down the standards to be respected for the abovementioned priority substances.


These directives are amended to add 12 new substances to the current list of 33 priority substances. In addition, several environmental quality standards for existing priority substances are updated to reflect the latest scientific and technical knowledge on risks to or via the aquatic environment.


Under the new directive, the Commission will establish an additional list of substances to be monitored in all member states (watch list) to support future reviews of the priority substances list. The first watch list will be established one year after the entry into force of the directive and will contain 10 substances, including three pharmaceutical substances (Diclofenac, 17-beta-estradiol (E2) and 17-alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2)). The watch list will be updated every 24 months.


The directive will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Member states will have 24 months after the entry into force of this directive to transpose it into national legislation.

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