The European Parliament is working on a law that will help reduce groundwater and surface water pollution in the EU, according to the latest news.

Ground and surface water pollution in the EU – current status

According to the European Environment Agency, since the early 1990s. Groundwater and surface water pollution in the EU was decreasing. As of 2016. However, the process has slowed down – 58 percent. Surface waters are polluted. Only 42 percent have good chemical status. surface water bodies (i.e., lakes or other natural or artificial water bodies, for example) and 77 percent. groundwater.

Measures to reduce groundwater and surface water pollution in the EU

One of the latest measures to reduce groundwater and surface water pollution in the EU was the adoption of the 2020. Resolution on the implementation of water legislation. In a resolution, the European Parliament called on the European Commission to take all necessary measures to ensure good chemical status on a wider scale. He also called on the Commission to take decisive action when member countries fail to meet environmental quality standards. The resolution stresses that monitoring substances affecting drinking water, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyls and some pharmaceuticals, should be a priority.

Reducing groundwater and surface water pollution is also one of the goals of the European Green Deal. The European Commission, in line with its goal of achieving zero emissions, presented in October 2022. Proposal to revise watch lists of surface and groundwater pollutants to be monitored and controlled to protect freshwater bodies. The project is also expected to address shortcomings in water chemical pollution and enable faster adaptation to scientific advances.

European Parliament proposals to reduce groundwater and surface water pollution in the EU

In June 2023. Parliament’s Environment Committee has adopted a position on protecting ground and surface water from pollution and improving water quality standards. The new law revises the Water Framework Directive, the Groundwater Directive and the Directive on Environmental Quality Standards in the Field of Water Policy (Surface Water Directive). The goal is to better protect human health and natural ecosystems from pollutants.

Another of the European Parliament’s proposals is that the pollutant watch list be updated regularly to keep up with scientific evidence and the rapid pace of new chemicals. In addition, it is also proposed to add a number of substances to the watch list, including plastic microplastics.

The European Parliament, in order to protect groundwater, is demanding that limit values – that is, quality standards for assessing chemical status – be 10 times lower for groundwater than for surface water. It also proposes adding certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to the list of groundwater contaminants, as these substances have been detected in more than 70 percent. EU measurement points. The European Parliament also suggests stricter standards for glyphosate, bisphenol, atrazine, pharmaceuticals and pesticides.

Ground and surface water pollution in the EU – when new regulations will be introduced

The timing of new regulations aimed at reducing groundwater and surface water pollution in the EU is not yet known. On September 12, 2023. Parliament has adopted a position on reducing ground and surface water pollution and improving water quality standards. Members approved the report with 495 votes in favor, 12 against, and 124 abstentions. Talks on the final form of the legislation are expected to continue after the European Council’s position is agreed.

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