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Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament pursuant to the second subparagraph of Article 251 (2) of the EC Treaty concerning the common position [...] COM(2006) 50 final

Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV

Abstract

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament pursuant to the second subparagraph of Article 251 (2) of the EC Treaty concerning the common position of the Council on the adoption of a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of groundwater against pollutionGroundwater is an important natural resource, which is mainly used for drinking water, industry and agriculture. It has also a high environmental value as it interacts with surface waters and wetlands, and thus represents a key part of the water cycle, which should be protected.
Preventing groundwater pollution has been the subject of Community legislation since 1980 and, more recently, through the Water Framework Directive, which was adopted in 2000.
Against that background, and after extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Commission published a proposal for a new directive concerning the protection of groundwater against pollution in September 2003. This proposal contains the following main elements:
- a compliance regime for assessing good chemical status for groundwater for a limited number of pollutants where existing Community standards prevail;
- criteria for assessing the chemical status of groundwater based on environmental quality standards, which have to be established by Member States at the appropriate level (national, river basin or groundwater body), depending on the variations in natural groundwater conditions, identified pressures and related chemical substances;
- criteria for identifying significant upward trends in pollutant concentrations in groundwater and defining starting points for reversing these trends;
- measures for preventing or limiting direct and indirect inputs of pollutants into groundwater.
The proposal provides clear specifications that will ensure that the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive will be achieved with respect to groundwater.

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Record Number: 7364 / Last updated on: 2006-04-27
Category: COM DOCUMENT