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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Press Release
Political agreement in the Environment Council on protecting groundwater

Date of release : 24-06-2005

Policy area : Environment Environment

Event : Environment Council

During the Environment Council in Luxembourg on 24 June 2005, the Ministers for the Environment reached a political agreement on the directive proposal on the protection of groundwater against pollution. The object is to complete the framework directive on water.

The differing ambitions of the Member States did not make the task of reaching a compromise easy for the Presidency. Two main questions held the attention of the Ministers. While quality standards are fixed at the Community level for certain pollutants, the directive approach is largely based on the principle of subsidiarity. It would be up to the Member States to define the threshold values for pollutants that are a particular risk to individual hydrogeological conditions at the national and/or regional level. On the sensitive question of nitrate pollution, the Ministers decided to preserve the acquis of the nitrates directive, which covers pollution from agricultural sources. The European Commission declared that strengthening the implementation of the nitrates directive is necessary, and that it will study that directive in more detail to see if it is sufficient for achieving the environmental objectives in the framework directive on water.

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This page was last modified on : 25-06-2005

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