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Priority substances supporting information and documentation

This page contains links to the legal/preparatory acts, study reports and other supporting background documents relevant to the development of the legislation on priority substances under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) i.e. documentation relevant to the 2012 Commission proposal on priority substances (COM(2011)876), the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (EQSD) 2008/105/EC and the First list of Priority substances Decision 2455/2001/EC.

Proposal for a Directive amending the WFD and EQSD (COM(2011)876) and Report (COM(2011)875)

The proposal can be downloaded below:

  • Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directives 2000/60/EC and 2008/105/EC as regards priority substances in the field of water policy. COM(2011)876

The report can be downloaded below:

  • Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the outcome of the review of Annex X to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on priority substances in the field of water policy. COM(2011)875

The other key preparatory acts and associated documents can be downloaded below:

  • Press Release (IP/12/88) and Q&A (MEMO/12/59) on the Commission Proposal

  • Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal - Commission Staff Working Paper SEC(2011)1547

  • Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal - Commission Staff Working Paper SEC(2011)1546

  • Impact Assessment Board Opinion - SEC(2011)1545

  • Technical Background accompanying the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the outcome of the review of Annex X to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on priority substances in the field of water policy - Commission Staff Working Paper SEC(2011)1544

A number of background documents in support of the proposal are available in the WFD public library in Circabc or via the specific links given on this page:

  • Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) Dossiers providing detailed information on how the EQS were derived for each of the additional priority substances in the proposal and for seven existing priority substances. The EQS were derived as described in the 2011 Technical Guidance for Deriving Environmental Quality standards referred to below. The dossiers were reviewed by the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER).

  • The Technical Guidance for Deriving Environmental Quality Standards (TGD-EQS - EC 2011) is Guidance Document No 27 under the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) for the Water Framework Directive. The Guidance was prepared by an Expert Group under CIS Working Group E (Chemical Aspects) and describes the methodology used to derive the EQS. The Guidance is an update of the Manual used to set the EQS in the EQSD. The Guidance was reviewed by the SCHER.

  • Opinions of the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER).  The TGD-EQS and the EQS dossiers referred to above were referred to the SCHER for its opinion.  The opinions are published on the Committee's website.

  • Substance Source Screening and Measures Sheets. These documents are summaries of the sources of the substances shortlisted in the review for inclusion in the proposal, and of the legislation/controls that currently apply to them or are expected to apply to them in future.  Similar documents for the existing priority substances were updated. They were used in the preparation of the Substance impacts reports mentioned below.

  • Impact Assessment supporting documents: Consultant's Methodology, Substance impacts reports, Final report. These documents are the outcome of background work undertaken by Entec UK (now AMEC) to identify and if possible quantify the main benefits and costs of listing the shortlisted substances as priority substances and of the EQS and status proposed, also for existing priority substances subject to changes.

  • Report on the Monitoring-based prioritisation. This report by INERIS documents the methodology for and outcomes of the prioritisation of potential priority substances carried out using Member State monitoring data collected to support the review.

  • Report on the Modelling-based prioritisation. This report documents the modelling process used by the Joint Research Centre to rank potential priority substances according to available data on their production, use and hazardousness.

 

Directive on Environmental Quality Standards (2008/105/EC)

The legal act can be downloaded below:

  • Directive 2008/105/EC of European Parliament and of the Council on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive 2000/60/EC”, OJ L348, p.84-97, 24.12.2008

The key preparatory acts and associated documents can be downloaded below:

In addition to the formal documents, a number of informal technical background documents and study reports were prepared to support the proposed directive (Directive 2008/105/EC). The list of documents is given below and they are all available through the WFD public library in Circabc  or via the specific links given on this page: 

  • Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) Data Sheets providing detailed information on how the EQS were derived  for each of the substances in the EQSD. The information was compiled, evaluated and used as outlined in the Manual referred to below, and was discussed in a consultative process with the Expert Advisory Forum on Priority Substances and the Expert Group on quality standards. Furthermore it was pre-reviewed by the Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment. 

  • The Manual on the Methodological Framework to derive Environmental Quality Standards for Priority Substances under the WFD (prepared by the Fraunhofer Institute) sets out the general methodology used to derive the water quality standards.

  • Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) on the Setting of Environmental Quality Standards for the Priority Substances - In March 2004, at the end of an exhaustive technical preparation and consultation process, the Commission asked the CSTEE to peer review the methodology and the proposed EQS. This document is the response of the CSTEE.

  • Proposed Environmental Quality Standards for Priority Substances – Current Compliance and Potential Benefits - this study by the WRc provides information on compliance with the proposed standards based on available monitoring data, and on the potential benefits of the proposal.

  • Assessing economic impacts of the specific control measures for priority substances and priority hazardous substances regulated under the WFD - this study by ECOLAS contributed to the Impact Assessment and includes an economic assessment of various options available to the Commission in the preparation of its proposal.

  • Source Identification and Emission Controls – this document is a concept paper on the control of emissions, discharges and losses of priority substances and priority hazardous substances. It is supported by Substance Source Screening Sheets which identify the sources of each individual substance and Substance Measures Sheets which identify the current controls in place and future controls proposed for individual substances.

  • Identification of Priority Hazardous Substances – this document reviews the 14 substances earmarked in Decision 2455/2001/EC for later review of their status as possible priority hazardous substances according to Article 16(3) of the WFD.

  • Q&A on Proposed Priority Substances (Environmental Quality Standards) Directive - this document includes some common questions and answers relating to the proposed directive.

Decision 2455/2001/EC on a First list of Priority substances

The legal act can be downloaded below:

  • "Decision 2455/2001/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2001 establishing a list of Priority Substances in the field of water policy and amending Directive 2000/60/EC", OJ L331, p 1, 15.12.2001

The preparatory work for the list of priority substances took place over two years and involved developing an advanced priority-setting method and collecting and evaluating extensive data sets. A study project was commissioned by DG Environment in co-operation with the German Federal Environment Agency. In addition, an expert advisory group consisting of experts from Member States, EFTA countries, the Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (SCTEE), the European Chemicals Bureau and stakeholders from industry, water suppliers and environmental groups met in early 1998 for the first time to discuss the priority setting methodology.

The list of the background documents developed for the establishment of the list of priority substances is given below:

  • A combined monitoring-based and modelling-based priority setting (COMMPS) procedure was developed. In its application, about 820 000 monitoring data from waters and sediments from all Member States were evaluated and data for more than 310 substances on production, use and distribution in the environment were used for modelling if the available monitoring information was insufficient. The consultant presented a first draft in July 1998 and a revised draft final version in April 1999. After reviewing the quality and the statistical assessment of the data it was recognised by all involved parties that the COMMPS procedure was scientifically sound and the proposal from the consultant formed a good basis for the Commission's first draft list. The Commission invited all parties in the expert advisory group to comment and made some changes before presenting its final proposal.

    The final COMMPS report "Study on the prioritisation of substances dangerous to the aquatic environment" can be ordered. The main part "Revised proposal for a list of priority substances in the context of the water framework directive (COMMPS procedure)" can downloaded as PDF files. (Report - 480K; Annex- 880K).

  • The Commission proposed a procedure for the identification of priority hazardous substances which it outlined in the Working Document ENV/191000/01 of 16 January 2001. The proposed procedure in the Working Document groups the proposed 33 priority substances according to their "level of concern" taking particular account of their "level of hazard". The procedure is based on the best available knowledge. The main emphasis was put on available "hazard assessments", in particular work carried out under the OSPAR Strategy with regard to Hazardous Substances, the classification and labelling of dangerous substances under Council Directive 67/548/EEC and the Protocol on POPs under the UN-ECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

    Furthermore, the procedure considered the finalised risk assessments made under Council Regulation (EEC) No. 793/93 and Council Directive 91/414/EEC and information linked with the regulation of pollution by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment under Council Directive 76/464/EEC and its five 'daughter' directives. The above-mentioned information was used to group the priority substances into clusters with increasing "levels of concern".

    For the final decision on the status of each substance, "additional considerations" were examined, including other relevant Community legislation or relevant international agreements, the production and use of the substance, the socio-economic impacts of a cessation or phase-out of emissions, and the suspected endocrine disrupting potential of the substance. The final qualitative assessment of the socio-economic costs related to the identification of substances for inclusion as priority hazardous substances was carried out in the study "Socio-Economic Impacts of the Identification of Priority Hazardous Substances under the Water Framework Directive", conducted by RPA December 2000 (Report).