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Surface Water Protection against Pollution under the Water Framework Directive

The European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive to protect surface water from pollution on 17 July 2006 (COM(2006)397 final). The proposed Directive, which is required to support the Water Framework Directive, will set limits on concentrations in surface waters of 41 dangerous chemical substances (including 33 priority substances and 8 other pollutants) that pose a particular risk to animal and plant life in the aquatic environment and to human health. The proposal will contribute to the Commission's Better Regulation initiative by replacing five older directives, allowing their repeal.

This proposal is part of the new strategy against chemical pollution of waters introduced by the Water Framework Directive (see here for more details). The proposal is accompanied by a Communication (COM(2006)398 final) which elaborates on this approach and an Impact Assessment which illustrates the choices that the Commission made.

Key Documents available

Other Supporting Background Documents used in the development of the proposal are available here.

Progress in the negotiations

The detailed progress in the negotiations can be followed through Pre-Lex. The main stages are listed below:

17 July 2008 : Commission's Communication COM(2008) 487 final on the second reading vote in the EP adopted ! new

17 June 2008 : Adoption of a second reading agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Directive - formal adoption, publication and entry into force will follow later in the second semester of 2008 !

21 February 2008 : Start of the second reading.

28 June 2007: Environment Council – Political Agreement

22 May 2007: European Parliament - First Reading adoption - see amendments