MEP welcomes Commission review

SNP MEP and member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, Alyn Smith, has today welcomed the launch of a review of the Groundwater Directive by the European Commission.

The Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) sets groundwater quality standards and introduces measures to prevent or limit inputs of nitrates and pesticides into groundwater.

The Commission has begun a consultation which aims to gather views for the first review of the Annexes I and II of the Groundwater Directive. The annexes contain Europe-wide environmental quality standards for pollutants, a minimum list of pollutants and indicators for which Member States should consider establishing threshold values, guidelines for the establishment of threshold values, and information to be provided by Member States on those pollutants and indicators. The consultation also asks whether any new substances should be added to the Annexes.

Alyn said:

"This is an important piece of legislation for our farmers and it is sensible that it is reviewed regularly to make sure that the rules still fit with new scientific knowledge and local characteristics.

"I urge all interested parties in Scotland to make their views known to the Commission in order to make sure that this review fully takes into account the specificities of farming in Scotland."

The Directive requires the Commission to review Annexes I and II of the Directive every six years and come forward with legislative proposals, if appropriate.

The Consultation is open until 22 October 2013 and can be viewed at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations_en.htm

For more information on the Directive, see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/groundwater.html