Meacher moves on EU drinking water directive

New regulation presented to parliament to ensure England's compliance with deadline

UK environment minister Michael Meacher today introduced a regulation to update drinking water standards in England in line with requirements in the 1998 EU drinking water directive.

Mr Meacher emphasised that the regulation would result in a sharp reduction in maximum lead concentrations. The limit will drop from 50 micrograms per litre (ug/l) now to 25 ug/l in 2003 and 10 ug/l in 2013. The regulation also sets limits for 47 other substances found in drinking water, including pesticides.

Consultation on the new rules was conducted in April, while the timing of their final presentation today is related to a 25 December deadline for EU member states to transpose the directive into national law. An EU source told ENDS Daily that an informal appraisal in October of member states' progress had shown that the majority was on track for transposition by January.

Follow Up:
UK environment ministry, tel: +44 20 79 44 30 00, April consultation document, finalised regulation will be posted here; EU drinking water directive.

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