The Commission is urging Belgium to comply with the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (Directive 91/271/EEC - UWWTD). The Directive requires Member States to ensure that urban agglomerations (towns, cities, settlements) properly collect and treat their waste waters, thus eliminating or reducing all their undesirable effects.
Therefore, in line with the European Green Deal, which has set for the EU a Zero Pollution ambition which benefits public health, the environment and climate neutrality, the Commission has decided to issue a reasoned opinion to Belgium for failure to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. Belgium should have been fully compliant with the UWWTD requirements since 2005.
Although Belgian authorities have shared monitoring data aimed to show compliance with the requirements of the Directive, for three agglomerations the necessary samples covering a regular period have not been provided. This leads the Commission to conclude that the authorities have failed to provide the required evidence for the alleged compliance for those agglomerations.
Of the 12 agglomerations addressed by the Commission in its initial letter of formal notice, only one is now considered compliant with all requirements of the Directive. Therefore, the Commission has decided today to issue a reasoned opinion to Belgium. Belgium will have two months to reply and take the necessary measures, otherwise the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice.