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European Commission calls on Ireland to improve its rules protecting surface waters

  • European Commission calls on Ireland to improve its rules protecting surface waters

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European Commission
The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. It takes decisions on the Union's political and strategic direction.
Schneider Electric

The Commission is calling on Ireland to correctly reflect all the elements of the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (Directive 2008/105/EC, as amended by Directive 2013/39/EU), into its national law. The aim of the Environmental Quality Standards Directive is to ensure that chemical pollution of surface water does not present a threat to the aquatic environment or to human health.

The European Green Deal and the Zero Pollution Action Plan set a zero pollution ambition for the EU to benefit public health, the environment and achieve climate neutrality. Whilst Ireland has correctly enacted most of the Directive's provisions into national legislation, certain aspects are still not completely transposed. These include the duty to set specific water quality standards for certain priority substances and the duty to have particular regard to certain specific priority substances when assessing trends of their potential accumulation in sediment or the flora and fauna. Ireland has also failed to correctly transpose the duty to include maps of emissions, discharges and losses of priority substances where available and to include information on their concentrations in sediment or the flora and fauna.

Therefore, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Ireland. Ireland now has two months to reply and take the necessary measures, otherwise the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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