Commission consults on review of the Groundwater Directive
The European Commission has launched a consultation to gather views for the first review of the Annexes I and II of the Groundwater Directive . The annexes contain Europe-wide environmental quality standards for pollutants, a minimum list of pollutants and indicators for which Member States should consider establishing threshold values, guidelines for the establishment of threshold values, and information to be provided by Member States on those pollutants and indicators. The consultation asks whether any new substances should be added to the Annexes. The Directive requires the Commission to review Annexes I and II of the Directive every six years and come forward with legislative proposals, if appropriate. The Consultation is open until 22 October 2013. TheGroundwater Directive (2006/118/EC)sets groundwater quality standards and introduces measures to prevent or limit inputs of nitrates and pesticides into groundwater. The directive establishes quality criteria that take into account local characteristics and allows for further improvements to be made based on monitoring data and new scientific knowledge. The directive thus represents a proportionate and scientifically sound response to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as it relates to assessments on chemical status of groundwater and the identification and reversal of significant and sustained upward trends in pollutant concentrations. Member States will have to establish the standards for limiting pollutants at the most appropriate level and take into account local or regional conditions.