The European Commission today proposed an overhaul of the EU bathing water directive, one of the bloc's oldest and most transgressed items of environmental legislation. The changes would introduce a broader concept of beach management, drastically reducing the range of pollutants monitored and allowing authorities to reduce sampling frequency for consistently good-quality waters.
Most radical of the Commission's proposed changes is the scrapping of tests for 19 different pollutant parameters and their replacement by just two bacterial measurements - intestinal enterococci (IE) and Escherichia coli (EC). No increase in the number of bathing waters tested is proposed.
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