MEPs decline to gut bathing water directive

Environment committee rebuffs Dutch rapporteur on water, debates waste shipments, shipping emissions

The European parliament's environment committee has stepped back from demanding wholesale changes to a planned revision of the EU bathing water directive. Voting last week, its MEPs left intact all basic elements of proposals made by the European Commission a year ago, opting to add extra features only at the margins.

The committee rejected rapporteur Jules Maaten's most radical demands. The Dutch liberal had argued that the rules were far too onerous and proposed a weakening of microbiological limit values, a full cost-benefit assessment of the plans, and for the directive itself to expire after 15 years.

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