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Dangerous substances documentation

The legal acts on dangerous substances can be downloaded below in English.

Based on Article 6 of Council Directive 76/464/EEC, the Council set specific emission limit values and quality objectives for 17 substances of list I in five specific directives, also called "daughter"(1) directives. The specific directives are:

  • Council Directive 82/176/EEC on limit values and quality objectives for mercury discharges by the chlor-alkali electrolysis industry (OJ L 081, 27.03.1982, p. 29).

  • Council Directive 83/513/EEC on limit values and quality objectives for cadmium discharges (OJ L 291, 24.10.1983, p. 1).

  • Council Directive 84/156/EEC on limit values and quality objectives for mercury discharges by sectors other than the chlor-alkali electrolysis industry (OJ L 074, 17.03.1984, p. 49).

  • Council Directive 84/491/EEC on limit values and quality objectives for the discharges of hexachlorocyclohexane (OJ L 274, 17.10.1984, p. 11).

  • Council Directive 86/280/EEC as amended by 88/347/EEC and 90/415/EEC on limit values and quality objectives for discharges of certain dangerous substances included in List I of the Annex to Directive 76/464/EEC (OJ L 181, 04.07.1986, p. 16 (amended OJ L 158, 25.06.1988, p. 35 and OJ L 219, 14.08.1990, p. 49)).

Studies on the implementation of the Dangerous substances Directive:

  • Pollution Reduction Programmes in Europe: Updated report on the Assessment of Programmes under Article 7 of Directive 76/464/EEC, conducted by Water Research Centre (WRc) in the framework of a project on "Transitional Provisions for Council Directive 76/464/EEC and related Directives to the WFD 2000/60/EC". (February 2003.)
  • 1996 report on "Evaluation of Directive 76/464/EEC regarding list II substances on the quality of the most important surface waters in the Community"
  • 1996 report on"Impact of the Directive 76/464/EEC and its daughter Directives on the most important surface waters of the Community".

In 1990, the Commission proposed another 15 substances for regulation as a priority under 76/464/EEC. The Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 76/464/EEC on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged to the aquatic environment of the Community (COM(90) 9 final of 2.2.1990, OJ C 55, 07.03.1990, p. 7). However, because of the upcoming proposals on the  IPPC Directive (Integrated Prevention and Pollution Control, 96/61/EC(2)), the Proposal COM(90) 9 final was withdrawn by the Commission on 4.8.1993 (OJ C 228, 24.08.1993, p. 13).


(1) The substance-specific directives related to Directive 76/464/EEC are also widely known as ‘daughter’ Directives. However, the term ‘daughter’ directives is misleading because it suggests that these specific directives are based on another Directive, in this case 76/464/EEC. The specific directives for list I substances are separate, independent pieces of legislation based on the Treaty. There is no hierarchy between directives. In consequence, the repeal of Directive 76/464/EEC under the Water Framework Directive does not affect or change the provisions of the specific directives. They remain entirely into force. In conclusion, we suggest not touse the term ‘daughter’ directives but rather 'specific' directives for list I substances to avoid misinterpretations.

(2) codified by Directive 2008/1/EC and currently under revision