Report paints gloomy picture of EU wastewater

Commission finds most member states late, complacent, over directive implementation

Not a single EU member state met the first major implementation deadline under the bloc's 1991 urban wastewater treatment directive, according to a report from the European Commission. The finding comes as no surprise, the Commission having flagged up widespread compliance failures over a year ago and having launched a succession of infringement proceedings against member states (EED 20/03/01).

By 31 December 1998, the directive states, member states should have ensured that all settlements with a population equivalent (pe) exceeding 10,000 that discharged their effluent into sensitive areas were to have secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment facilities. In the event, only Denmark and Austria came even close to compliance, the report says.

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