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EU Parliament approves report to improve water quality standards in EU countries

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BRUSSELS, 12th September, 2023 (WAM) — The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt a report aimed at reducing groundwater and surface water pollution and improving water quality standards in European Union countries.

The report, which was approved by a vote of 495 to 12 with 124 abstentions, calls for the EU to regularly update its watch lists of substances that pose a significant risk to human health and the environment. This is to ensure that the lists keep pace with new scientific evidence and the emerging threat of new chemicals.

The report also proposes adding a subset of substances to the lists of both groundwater and surface water contaminants. These substances include microplastics and antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms, for which appropriate monitoring methods have not yet been developed.

In addition, the report calls for stricter standards for several pesticides, including glyphosate, atrazine, and pharmaceuticals. It also states that producers who sell products containing polluting chemicals should help finance the costs of monitoring, which is currently funded only by member states.

The European Parliament is now ready to begin talks with the Council of the European Union on the final form of the legislation. The Council is expected to adopt its position in the coming months.

The new legislation is in line with the European Green Deal’s ambition to achieve zero pollution in the environment. It updates the Water Framework Directive, the Groundwater Directive, and the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (Surface Waters Directive).

Muhammad Aamir / Amjad Saleh

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