EurEau fully supports the goals and tools of the IED. We see, however, that pollutants from industrial sources are still released to the aquatic environment where they pose a threat to the quality of water resources (see the EEA report on Status of European Waters 2018). Water suppliers are obliged to invest in expensive and energy-intensive treatment process to remove pollutants and comply with the stringent requirements of the Drinking Water Directive. One current example is the presence of PFAS in water resources used for the production of drinking water. Increasing the treatment at the level of the drinking water plant would lead to massive increases in the price for water services and will reflect in higher bills for customers. Following the precautionary principle and control at source principle as enshrined in the Treaty (art. 191.2), the authorisation and the release of such substances to the environment should be banned, restricted and controlled.
With this in mind, any permits for plants covered by the IED and the related BAT should include requirements for the protection of water resources in order to avoid deterioration of the quality of water bodies and increased treatment by drinking water suppliers (Water Framework Directive art.7.3).
Preventive measures should be taken at the source and the polluters should pay according to the extended producer's responsibility.
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