Potocnik welcomes 'weaker' rules on water pollution

8th August 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Control ,
  • Prevention & Control ,
  • Water ,
  • EU



New European legislation to tackle water pollution will offer greater protection for the environment despite being "substantially weakened" during negotiations with member states, according to environment commissioner Janez Potocnik

Member states and EU authorities agreed the final text of the new Directive on Priority Substances for Water at its first reading in July.

Potocnik described the agreement as a “much needed” update to existing legislation, but conceded that the commission’s original proposal had been considerably diminished. “I remain convinced the final result will make a significant contribution to improving water quality,” he argued.

In September 2012, the European Commission outlined its proposals to update the list of 41 substances contained in the 2008 Priority Substances Directive (2008/105/EC), which member states have to control by 2015.

The plans included 15 new substances that by 2027 should no longer enter watercourses. After negotiations, however, only 12 of the substances have been included in the legislation, with the remaining three – all pharmaceutical materials – placed on a new “watch list”, which has been created to improve the evidence base for adding new priority substances.

Other changes to the Directive include making data on water pollution easier for the public to understand.

Meanwhile, the European Environment Agency has concluded that, although the EU has successfully agreed a wide range of policies to protect the environment and support the transition to a green economy, long-term implementation remains a challenge.

In a new report, the agency outlines how European legislation has introduced 130 environmental goals that have to be met during 2010–50. However, of the 63 that are legally-binding, only one has been made for post-2020.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Latest environmental legislation update

Groundbreaking legislation on air and noise pollution and measures to tackle growing concerns over disposable vapes provide the focus for Neil Howe’s environmental legislation update

6th June 2024

Read more

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close