EUREAU News Details

Pollution needs to be tackled at source

EUREAU // Press release // The compromise on the review of the Priority Substances Directive negotiated by the Council under the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament led by MEP Richard Seeber has considerably weakened the initial proposal from the European Commission. EUREAU invites and supports the European Commission to continue its efforts aiming for a better protection of European water resources against pollution by hazardous substances. EUREAU is worried about the outcome of the political debate which extends the deadlines for achieving the objective of a good chemical status concerning substances that are recognised as hazardous for the aquatic environment.

EUREAU underlines the need to tackle water pollution by chemical and pharmaceutical substances at the source and not in treatment plants for drinking water or in waste water treatment plants; as end-of-pipe-treatment can only be a means of last resort. This is not only a question of cost efficiency, but there is a serious risk that treatment solutions generate new environmental problems in other areas as e.g. higher consumption of energy and chemicals, possibly more contaminants in the residual products, less pressure to restrict or substitute the use of dangerous compounds.

Therefore, EUREAU welcomes the fact that a new article was added to the Priority Substances Directive urging the Commission to develop a strategic approach to pollution of water by pharmaceutical substances aimed at reducing their discharges, emissions, and losses to the aquatic environment.