Tag Archives: Environmental protection

Water Protection and Management

Water protection and management

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Water protection and management

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Water protection and management

Water protection and management

Some 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by seas and oceans, and these produce almost three quarters of the oxygen we breathe. We can use directly only 1% of this water, however, and many forms of human activity put water resources under considerable pressure. Polluted water, whatever the source of the pollution, flows one way or another back into our natural surroundings – into the sea or water tables – from where it can have a harmful effect on human health and the environment. One of the most important pieces of legislation in this area is the Water Framework Directive.

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

  • Water protection and management (Water Framework Directive)
  • Pricing and long-term management of water
  • Flood management and evaluation
  • Droughts and water scarcity
  • Urban waste water treatment

SPECIFIC USES OF WATER

  • Quality of drinking water
  • Bathing water quality (until 2014)
  • Bathing water quality
  • Water suitable for fish-breeding
  • Quality of shellfish waters

MARINE POLLUTION

  • Strategy for the marine environment
  • Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage
  • Maritime safety: prevention of pollution from ships
  • Ship-source pollution and criminal penalties
  • Maritime safety: prohibition of organotin compounds on ships
  • Maritime safety: Bunkers Convention

REGIONAL WATERS

  • European Union Strategy for Danube Region
  • Baltic Sea Strategy
  • Environment strategy for the Mediterranean
  • Strategy to improve maritime governance in the Mediterranean
  • Black Sea Synergy
  • Danube – Black Sea region

Regional convention

  • Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean
  • Helsinki Convention on the protection of the Baltic Sea
  • Helsinki Convention: trans-boundary watercourses and international lakes
  • Convention for the Protection of the Rhine
  • OSPAR Convention

DISCHARGES OF SUBSTANCES

  • Industrial emissions
  • Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)
  • Environmental quality standards applicable to surface water
  • Protection of groundwater against pollution
  • Detergents
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
  • Agricultural nitrates
  • Community strategy concerning mercury
  • Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances (until 2013)
  • Other substances: protection of groundwater

 


 

Another Normative about Water protection and management

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Agriculture > Environment

Water protection and management (Water Framework Directive)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy [See amending acts].

Summary

The European Union (EC) has established a framework for the protection of:

  • inland surface waters *;
  • groundwater *;
  • transitional waters *; and
  • and coastal waters *.

This Framework-Directive has a number of objectives, such as preventing and reducing pollution, promoting sustainable water usage, environmental protection, improving aquatic ecosystems and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts.

Its ultimate objective is to achieve “good ecological and chemical status” for all Community waters by 2015.

Administrative arrangements

Member States have to identify all the river basins * lying within their national territory and to assign them to individual river basin districts *. River basins covering the territory of more than one Member State will be assigned to an international river basin district.

Member States are to designate a competent authority for the application of the rules provided for in this Framework-Directive within each river basin district.

Identification and analysis of waters

By 2004 at the latest, each Member State shall produce:

  • an analysis of the characteristics of each river basin district;
  • a review of the impact of human activity on water;
  • an economic analysis of water use;
  • a register of areas requiring special protection;
  • a survey of all bodies of water used for abstracting water for human consumption and producing more than 10 m³ per day or serving more than 50 persons.

This analysis must be revised in 2013 and every six years thereafter.

Management plans and programmes of measures

In 2009, nine years after the Framework-Directive entered into force, management plans were produced for each river basin district, taking account of the results of the analyses and studies carried out. These plans cover the period 2009-2015. They shall be revised in 2015 and then every six years thereafter.

The management plans must be implemented in 2012. They aim to:

  • prevent deterioration, enhance and restore bodies of surface water, achieve good chemical and ecological status of such water by 2015 at the latest and to reduce pollution from discharges and emissions of hazardous substances;
  • protect, enhance and restore the status of all bodies of groundwater, prevent the pollution and deterioration of groundwater, and ensure a balance between groundwater abstraction and replenishment;
  • preserve protected areas.

The management plans for river basin districts can be complemented by more detailed management programmes and plans for a sub-basin, a sector or a particular type of water.

Temporary deterioration of bodies of water is not in breach of the requirements of this Framework-Directive if it is the result of circumstances which are exceptional or could not reasonably have been foreseen and which are due to an accident, natural causes or force majeure.

Member States shall encourage participation by all stakeholders in the implementation of this Framework-Directive, specifically with regard to the management plans for river basin districts. Projects from the management plans must be submitted to public consultation for at least 6 months.

From 2010, Member States must ensure that water pricing policies provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently and that the various economic sectors contribute to the recovery of the costs of water services, including those relating to the environment and resources.

Member States must introduce arrangements to ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties are imposed in the event of breaches of the provisions of this Framework Directive.

A list of priority substances selected from among the ones which present a significant risk to the aquatic environment has been drawn up at European level. This list is set out in Annex X to this Framework-Directive.

Key terms used in the act
  • Inland waters: all standing or flowing water on the surface of the land, and all groundwater on the landward side of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured.
  • Surface water: inland waters, except groundwater, transitional waters and coastal waters, except in respect of chemical status, for which territorial waters are also included.
  • Groundwater: all water which is below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.
  • Transitional waters: bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.
  • Coastal water: surface water on the landward side of a line every point of which is at a distance of one nautical mile on the seaward side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured, extending where appropriate up to the outer limit of transitional waters.
  • River basin: the area of land from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.
  • River basin district: the area of land and sea, made up of one or more neighbouring river basins together with their associated groundwaters and coastal waters, which is identified under Article 3(1) as the main unit for management of river basins.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2000/60/EC

22.12.2000

22.12.2003

OJ L 327 of 22.12.2000

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2455/2001/EC

16.12.2001

OJ L 331 of 15.12.2001

Directive 2008/32/EC

21.3.2008

OJ L 81 of 20.3.2008

Directive 2009/31/EC

25.6.2009

OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/60/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES

Annex X – List of priority substances in the field of water policy

Directive 2008/105/EC [Official Journal L 348 of 24.12.2008].

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 22 March 2007 – Towards sustainable water management in the European Union – First stage in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC [COM(2007) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this report the Commission sets out the results provided by the Member States concerning the application of the Water Framework Directive. Among other things, it mentions that there is a considerable risk that several Member States will fail to meet the targets set in the Framework Directive, in particular because of the physical deterioration of aquatic ecosystems, especially as a result of overexploitation of water resources and disturbing levels of pollution from diffuse sources. The Commission also indicates that there have been problems with meeting the deadline for incorporating the Framework Directive into national law and shortcomings in the actual transposition process in some cases. However, the establishment of river basin districts and the designation of the competent national authorities seem to be well under way, although progress does still need to be made with regard to international cooperation in some instances. The Commission also indicates that there are considerable differences in the quality of the environmental and economic assessments made in respect of river basins as well as shortcomings in the economic analyses carried out. The Commission finishes by making a number of recommendations to the Member States with a view to making good the shortcomings reported, integrating sustainable management of water into other national policies and making the most of public participation, and gives advance notice of what it plans to do in future in the context of European water management policy.

Report from the Commission of 1 April 2009 published in accordance with article 18.3 of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC on programmes for monitoring of water status [COM(2009) 156 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Water Protection and Management in other Legal Encyclopedias

Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000 – American Legal Encyclopedia

Coastal Zone Management Act Of 1972 in the American Legal Encyclopedia

Single Farm Payment

Single Farm Payment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Single Farm Payment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > General framework

Single Farm Payment

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 of 19 January 2009 establishing common rules for direct support schemes for farmers under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1290/2005, (EC) No 247/2006, (EC) No 378/2007 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Since the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which took place in June 2003, production-related support has been gradually abolished and included in the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), the system of direct payments which European farmers benefit from. This Regulation continues this reform.

Direct payments are support granted to farmers directly under the framework of one of the support schemes listed in Annex I to the Regulation. Some of this support is still directly linked to production; however the majority of direct support is decoupled and granted under the auspices of an income support scheme called the “Single Payment Scheme” (SPS). Under the SPS, support granted to farmers is not linked to production.

The objective of this Regulation is to gradually integrate support coupled with production into the single payment scheme.

DIRECT PAYMENTS

Cross-compliance

Direct support is subject to the principle of ‘cross-compliance’, according to which farmers must comply with a certain number of requirements in order to receive payments. These requirements relate to three areas:

  • public health, animal and plant health;
  • the environment;
  • animal welfare.

If the farmer does not comply with these requirements, they are penalised with a reduction in or cancellation of the direct payments.

Modulation

Modulation is a system of compulsory progressive reduction of direct payments. Direct payments of over EUR 5 000 have therefore been reduced year on year in accordance with a particular percentage of up to 10 % by 2012.

The corresponding amounts are transferred to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to enhance rural development programmes, in particular for measures concerning climate change, renewable energies, water management and biodiversity. The modulation system does not apply to either the outermost regions, the Aegean Islands or to Member States subject to “phasing in”.

Farm advisory system

Farmers may take part in the farm advisory system set up by Member States to advise farmers with regard to compliance with regulatory requirements on management matters and good farming and environmental conditions.

Integrated administration and control system (IACS)

Each Member State must set up an integrated administration and control system which enables the efficiency and monitoring of the support granted to farmers by the EU to be improved. Through this electronic system, the Member State is able to deal with aid applications and be assured through administrative checks and on-site checks that payments are made properly, in order to prevent and, if necessary, manage irregularities and recover undue amounts.

Payment

Full payments are to be made to beneficiaries in one or two instalments per year between 1 December and 30 June of the following calendar year. The Commission may authorise advances. Farmers who have artificially created the conditions required for obtaining payments will not receive them.

SINGLE PAYMENT SCHEME

The single payment scheme allocates aid to farmers irrespective of their production. The principal aim of this system of support is to ensure greater income stability for farmers. The latter henceforth receive the same amount of support regardless of their rate of production. This enables them to align their production with market demands. The aim of the Single Payment Scheme is also to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture.

National ceilings

Budget ceilings for the Single Payment Scheme for each Member State are published each year in a Commission Regulation.

National reserve

Member States set up a national reserve to grant rights to payments to new farmers and to those deemed to be in special circumstances, and to establish rights for farmers in areas subject to restructuring and/or development programmes.

Payment entitlements

In order to benefit from the Single Payment Scheme, farmers must first have payment entitlements, which they must declare together with the eligible hectares. The payment entitlements may be transferred from one farmer to another under certain conditions.

Historic implementation

In the “historic model”, entitlements are calculated based on the amount of direct payments each farmer has received during a reference period (generally the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Other calculation options are possible in specific cases or when other integrations are concerned). Each direct payment is calculated by dividing the reference amount by the number of hectares which are entitled to the support received.

Regional implementation

Member States may opt to allocate payments at regional level. In that case, regional ceilings are to be established and divided among the farmers in the region. The value of their entitlements is obtained by dividing the financial envelope by the number of hectares declared in the first year of application of the scheme.

Partial implementation

Member States have had the option of partially implementing the single payment system. In this case, Member States keep part of the coupled aid and pay it to farmers in the form of a supplementary payment and according to production. These options will disappear in 2012, except for sheep/goats and suckler cows, two productions which may prove to be crucial in order to avoid agricultural land being abandoned in certain regions.

CONTEXT

This Regulation forms part of the “health check” component of the Common Agricultural Policy after the 2003 reform. Since then the CAP has been resolutely aimed at simplification by making most payments directly to farmers under the Single Payment Scheme. Using the experience acquired since the introduction of the SPS, the Commission is extending the simplification of the CAP into the area of cross-compliance and that of existing coupled aid.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

1.2.2009

OJ L 30, 31.1.2009

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1250/2009

22.12.2009

OJ L 338, 19.12.2009

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Air pollution

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive has been adopted in line with the 1997 communication concerning the strategy to combat acidification, which sought to establish, for the first time, national emission ceilings for certain pollutants.

Scope

This Directive covers emissions in the territory of the Member States and their exclusive economic zones from four pollutants which arise as a result of human activities:

  • emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2),
  • emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx),
  • emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and
  • emissions of ammonia (NH3).

These pollutants are responsible for the phenomena of acidification, eutrophication and tropospheric ozone formation (also called “bad ozone”, present at low altitude, as opposed to stratospheric ozone), irrespective of the sources of pollution.

National emission ceilings

This Directive provides for the introduction of national emission ceilings by the end of 2010 at the latest. These ceilings are laid down in Annex I to the Directive.

Interim environmental objectives

The purpose of the emission ceilings is broadly to meet the following interim environmental objectives:

  • the areas with critical loads of acid depositions will be reduced by at least 50% compared with 1990;
  • ground-level ozone loads above the critical level for human health will be reduced by two-thirds compared with the 1990 situation. An absolute limit is also set. The guide value set by the World Health Organisation may not be exceeded on more than 20 days a year;
  • ground-level ozone loads above the critical level for crops and semi-natural vegetation will be reduced by one-third compared with 1990. An absolute limit is also set.

National programmes

Member States are required to draw up programmes, by 1 October 2002, for the progressive reduction of their annual national emissions. The programmes must be updated and revised as necessary in 2006. They must be made available to the public and to appropriate organisations and submitted to the Commission.

Emission inventories

Moreover, Member States must prepare and annually update national emission inventories and emission projections for SO2, NOx, VOC and NH3. These inventories and projections must be reported to the Commission and the European Environment Agency each year by 31 December at the latest.

Reports

The Commission must report (in 2004, 2008 and 2012) to the European Parliament and the Council on progress on the implementation of the ceilings and towards attaining the interim environmental objectives and the long-term objectives set by the Directive. These reports must contain an economic assessment of the implementation of the national emission ceilings, including cost-effectiveness, costs and benefits, impact on competitiveness and socio-economic impact in each Member State.

The Commission will report to the Council and the European Parliament on the extent to which emissions from international maritime traffic and aircraft contribute to acidification, eutrophication and the formation of ground-level ozone within the Community. It will also specify the action which could be taken to reduce emissions from these sectors.

Cooperation with third countries

Member States and the Commission shall cooperate with third countries and the international organisations concerned with the aim of exchanging information and making progress in research aiming to reduce emissions of SO2, NOx, VOC and NH3.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2001/81/EC

27.11.2001

27.11.2002

Official Journal 309 of 27.11.2001

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Related Acts

Council Decision 2003/507/EC of 13 June 2003 on the accession of the European Community to the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone.

This Protocol seeks to cut emissions of sulphur, NOx, NH3 and VOC caused by human activity and capable of damaging human health and the environment through processes of acidification, eutrophication and tropospheric ozone formation resulting from long-range transboundary transport.

A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Waterborne transport

A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

Many decommissioned European ships end up on the beaches of South Asia where they are dismantled. The absence of environmental protection and safety measures results in a high rate of accidents, health risks and large-scale pollution affecting vast expanses of the coast. The strategy proposed to improve ship dismantling practices includes action aimed at contributing to the implemention of the main elements of an international convention on the recycling of ships which has just been adopted. It also provides for measures aimed at encouraging voluntary action by the maritime transport sector and better application of current Community legislation on waste shipments.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 19 November 2008 – An EU strategy for better ship dismantling [COM(2008) 767 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) strategy gives effect to the 2007 Green Paper on better ship dismantling practices. This strategy should guarantee that ships with a strong link to the Union (in terms of flag or ownership) are dismantled only in safe and environmentally sound facilities, in line with the Hong Kong Convention developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and adopted on 19 May 2009.

Such a strategy complies with Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 on waste shipments which transposes the Basel Convention. It thus aims to prevent the export of hazardous end-of-life ships from the EU to developing countries, and to protect human health and the environment during dismantling operations, without creating unnecessary new economic burdens.

Main elements of the strategy proposed by the Commission

The EU strategy proposes a series of measures aimed at improving ship dismantling conditions as soon as possible, in particular during the interim period preceding the entry into force of the new IMO convention. The following measures are envisaged in particular:

  • start preparations to introduce measures on key elements of the new IMO convention, in particular concerning surveys, certification and the inventory of hazardous materials present on board ships;
  • encourage voluntary industry action through various measures, such as awards for exemplary “green” recycling activities, the publication of guidelines and a list of “clean” dismantling facilities.
  • provide technical assistance and support to developing countries for training programmes in safety and the establishment of basic infrastructure for environmental and health protection;
  • improve the application of current rules on waste shipments by intensifying controls in European ports, enhancing cooperation and exchange of information between European authorities and the establishment of a list of ships ready for scrapping.

The strategy also proposes that the Commission should examine the feasibility of the following measures:

  • establish auditing and certification of ship recycling facilities worldwide and evaluate how EU ships might be encouraged to use this scheme;
  • ensure that warships and other government vessels which do not come under the scope of the convention be subject to Community rules for their “clean” dismantling;
  • establish a mandatory international funding system for “clean” ship dismantling.

Context

The preparation of an EU strategy for environmentally sound ship dismantling practices is one of the elements of the Commission action plan on an integrated maritime policy for the European Union.

This Communication has the aim of encouraging debate and paving the way for the legislative proposal to be presented after the adoption of the Hong Kong Convention in May 2009.

Bathing water quality

Bathing water quality

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bathing water quality

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Water protection and management

Bathing water quality

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 concerning the management of bathing water quality and repealing Directive 76/160/EEC.

SUMMARY

The European Union (EU) is committed to protecting environmental quality and human health. This Directive therefore strengthens the rules guaranteeing bathing water quality *. It supplements Directive 2000/60/EC on water protection and management.

The Directive does not apply to swimming pools or spa pools, or to artificially created confined waters, subject to treatment or used for therapeutic purposes.

Monitoring of bathing water

Each year, the Member States shall identify the bathing waters in their territory and define the length of the bathing season.

They shall establish monitoring at the location most used by bathers or where the risk of pollution is greatest. Monitoring shall take place by means of sampling:

  • four samples, including one before the start of the bathing season;
  • three samples only if the seasons does not exceed eight weeks or if the region is subject to special geographical constraints.

Member States shall communicate the results of their monitoring to the Commission with a description of the water quality management measures. Monitoring may be suspended exceptionally once the Commission has been informed.

Determining bathing water quality

Water quality is assessed on the basis of microbiological data defined according to the parameters described in Annex I. Member States shall then establish a classification of waters of poor, sufficient, good or excellent quality. This classification shall comply with the criteria set out in Annex II.

All bathing waters in the EU must be at least of sufficient quality by the end of the 2015 bathing season. Furthermore, Member States are to take the necessary measures to improve the number of bathing waters of good or excellent quality.

If quality is poor, Member States shall adopt the necessary measures to manage and eliminate pollution, and to protect and inform bathers.

Bathing water profile

The Directive provides for profiles to be established to identify possible pollution, for one or more than one contiguous bathing waters. In particular, they comprise an assessment of:

  • the physical, geographical and hydrological characteristics of the bathing water and of other surface waters in the catchment area;
  • pollution and sources thereof;
  • management measures.

These profiles must be established by 24 March 2011.

Exceptional measures

Member States shall adopt exceptional measures if unexpected situations deteriorate the quality of waters or represent a risk to bathers’ health.

Appropriate monitoring must also be implemented if there is a risk of proliferation of algae. The authorities responsible must therefore:

  • take management measures and provide information immediately if a proliferation of cyanobacteria (or “blue algae”) occurs;
  • assess the health risks if there is a proliferation of macro-algae and/or marine phytoplankton.

Transboundary waters

Member States shall exchange information and take joint action if a river basin * extends over several territories.

Information to the public

National authorities shall enable the public to obtain information and to participate in water quality management. Citizens may therefore make suggestions, remarks or complaints. They may also participate in the establishment, review and updating of lists of water quality.

Moreover, Member States shall ensure that adequate information is disseminated actively and is easily available during the bathing season. This concerns in particular:

  • the classification of water, prohibitions or advice against bathing;
  • a general description of the water in non-technical language;
  • a description of the nature and duration of pollution.

Context

This Directive shall repeal Directive 76/2006/EEC by 31 December 2014.

Key terms
  • Bathing water: any element of surface water where the national authorities of a Member State expect a large number of people to bathe or have not imposed a permanent bathing prohibition, or issued permanent advice against bathing.
  • River basin: area from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2006/7/EC

24.3.2006

24.3.2008

OJ L 64 of 4.3.2006


Another Normative about Bathing water quality

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Environment > Water protection and management

Bathing water quality (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 76/160/EEC of 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing water [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive concerns the quality of bathing water in the Member States of the European Union (EU). It concerns those waters in which bathing is authorised by the national authorities and regularly practised by a significant number of bathers. This Directive does not apply to water intended for therapeutic purposes, or to water used in swimming pools.

It lays down the minimum quality criteria to be met by bathing water. They relate to:

  • the limit values of substances considered to be indicators of pollution (in the Annex);
  • the minimum sampling frequency and method of analysis or inspection of such water (in the Annex).

Member States may fix more stringent values than the criteria laid down in the Directive. In addition, where it does not give any values for certain substances, Member States are not obliged to fix any.

Water quality assessment

Sampling is carried out by Member States at different intervals for each polluting substance (in the Annex). Samples are taken at places where the daily average density of bathers is highest. Sampling begins two weeks before the start of the bathing season. The water testing must be adapted to the geographical and topographical conditions and to the presence of existing or potential polluting discharges.

Non-compliance

Where the waters do not conform to the parameters of the Directive, Member States may not authorise bathing in them before they have taken the necessary measures to improve the water quality. They have a period of ten years after notification of the Directive for the quality of the water to conform to the set limit values.

However, under certain conditions, bathing water is deemed to conform to the relevant parameters, even if a certain percentage of samples taken during the bathing season do not conform to the limit values. Derogations to the Directive are possible, provided that they meet the objective of protecting public health.

In addition, the consequences of floods, natural disasters or abnormal weather conditions are not taken into consideration when determining the water quality.

Monitoring Committee

A Committee on adaptation to technical progress enables the measures for improving water quality to be adapted. It consists of representatives from the Member States and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Context

This is repealed by Directive 2006/7/EC with effect from 31 December 2014. However, it still applies in Member States where transposition of the new Directive is not finished.

The review of bathing water legislation is designed to ensure consistency with the Sixth Environment Action Programme, the Sustainable Development Strategy and the Water Framework Directive. It is also intended to simplify procedures in the light of scientific developments and improve participatory processes for the actors concerned and the information given to the public.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 76/160/EEC

10.12.1975

10.12.1977

OJ L 31, 5.2.1976

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 91/692/EEC

23.12.1991

1.1.1993

OJ L 377, 31.12.1991

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 76/160/EEC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 21 December 2000: Developing a new bathing water policy [COM(2000) 860 final – Not published in Official Journal].
The Communication sets out the strengths and weaknesses of the management of bathing water quality, and proposes various approaches to drafting a new directive to take account of technical progress in the field.

Commission Decision 92/446/EEC of 27 July 1992 concerning questionnaires relating to Directives in the water sector [Official Journal L 247 of 27.8.1992].
This Decision draws up the outlines of questionnaires needed to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of all Directives in the water sector, including Directive 76/160/EEC.

Landfill of waste

Landfill of waste

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Landfill of waste

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Landfill of waste

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste [See amending acts].

Summary

The Directive is intended to prevent or reduce the adverse effects of the landfill of waste on the environment.

It defines the different categories of waste (municipal waste, hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste and inert waste) and applies to all landfills, defined as waste disposal sites for the deposit of waste onto or into land. Landfills are divided into three classes:

  • landfills for hazardous waste;
  • landfills for non-hazardous waste;
  • landfills for inert waste.

On the other hand, the Directive does not apply to:

  • the spreading on the soil of sludges (including sewage sludges and sludges resulting from dredging operations);
  • the use in landfills of inert waste for redevelopment or restoration work;
  • the deposit of unpolluted soil or of non-hazardous inert waste resulting from prospecting and extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources as well as from the operation of quarries;
  • the deposit of non-hazardous dredging sludges alongside small waterways from which they have been dredged and of non-hazardous sludges in surface water, including the bed and its subsoil.

A standard waste acceptance procedure is laid down so as to avoid any risks:

  • waste must be treated before being landfilled;
  • hazardous waste within the meaning of the Directive must be assigned to a hazardous waste landfill;
  • landfills for non-hazardous waste must be used for municipal waste and for non-hazardous waste;
  • landfill sites for inert waste must be used only for inert waste.

The following wastes may not be accepted in a landfill:

  • liquid waste;
  • flammable waste;
  • explosive or oxidising waste;
  • hospital and other clinical waste which is infectious;
  • used tyres, with certain exceptions;
  • any other type of waste which does not meet the acceptance criteria laid down in Annex II.

The Directive sets up a system of operating permits for landfill sites. Applications for permits must contain the following information:

  • the identity of the applicant and, in some cases, of the operator;
  • a description of the types and total quantity of waste to be deposited;
  • the capacity of the disposal site;
  • a description of the site;
  • the proposed methods for pollution prevention and abatement;
  • the proposed operation, monitoring and control plan;
  • the plan for closure and aftercare procedures;
  • the applicant’s financial security;
  • an impact assessment study, where required under Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

Member States must ensure that existing landfill sites may not continue to operate unless they comply with the provisions of the Directive as soon as possible.

Member States must report to the Commission every three years on the implementation of the Directive.

On the basis of these reports, the Commission must publish a Community report on the implementation of the Directive;

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 1999/31/EC

16.07.1999

16.07.2001

OJ L 182 of 16.07.1999

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 1999/31/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version  is of documentary value only.

Related Acts


Information on islands and isolated settlements excluded by Member States under Article 3(4) of the Landfill Directive [Official Journal C 316 of 13 December 2005].

Council Decision 2003/33/EC of 19 December 2002 establishing criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills pursuant to Article 16 of and Annex II to Directive 1999/31/EC [Official Journal L 11 of 16.01.2003].

Commission Decision 2000/738/EC of 17 November 2000 concerning a questionnaire for Member States’ reports on the implementation of Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste [Official Journal L 298 of 25.11.2000].

Reports

Report from the Commission of 20 November 2009 on implementation of the community waste legislation Directive 2006/12/EC on waste, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste and Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment for the period 2004-2006 [COM(2009) 633 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The implementation of the Directive on the landfill of waste remains highly unsatisfactory and considerable efforts need to be undertaken to improve it. Ten years after the adoption of the Directive, not all Member States report having transposed and implemented all its provisions. There are still a large number of illegal landfills, which do not have the authorisations required by EU legislation on waste. A vast majority of Member States did not meet the deadline of 16 July 2009 to ensure that all sub-standard landfills (unless specifically derogated) that existed before the introduction of the Directive complied with its requirements. Only nine Member States report having met the 2006 targets for the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfills and capture of landfill gas appears insufficient.
In 2009, thirteen non-conformity cases and eleven bad application cases were pending against Member States. In response to these systemic failures of Member States to properly implement the EU waste legislation, the Commission has taken a strategic approach.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on implementation of the Community waste legislation: Directive 75/442/EEC, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste and Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste for the period 2001-2003 [COM(2006) 406 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Some Member States have made use of the possibility of excluding certain wastes or landfills from some provisions of the Directive (for example remote sites and underground storage). In a certain number of countries, a very high number of landfills for non-hazardous waste and for inert waste will have to be re-equipped or closed by 2009 to conform to the Directive. Most Member States have defined some criteria for wastes acceptable in landfills and prepared national strategies for reducing biodegradable waste going to landfills. The Commission has initiated infringement cases because of the numerous unauthorised landfills for failing to ensure that all operators of existing landfills had presented their conditioning plans by 16 July 2002.

Report from the Commission of 30 March 2005 on the national strategies for the reduction of biodegradable waste going to landfills pursuant to Article 5(1) of Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste [COM(2005) 105 – not published in the Official Journal].
By January 2004 the Commission had received the national strategies from twelve Member States (Ireland and Spain did not submit their strategies and Finland submitted its strategy too late to be included in the report). Belgium and the United Kingdom presented their strategies on a regional basis. The ten new Member States were also to submit their strategies after accession.
The report points out that all the strategies promote composting, recycling of paper and energy recovery. Most strategies stress the importance of using source segregated organic waste to obtain good quality compost. The level of detail of the strategies and the measures to achieve the targets vary considerably. Some Member States have chosen legally binding measures, while others have chosen voluntary measures and incentives. It is not possible to tell with any certainty from studying the strategies whether the reduction objectives will be met in those Member States which have not yet done so; however it seems that further effort must be made for the objectives to be achieved.

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promotion of offshore wind energy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Renewable energy

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 November 2008 – ‘Offshore Wind Energy: Action needed to deliver on the Energy Policy Objectives for 2020 and beyond’ [COM(2008) 768 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication aims at promoting the development of maritime and offshore wind energy in the European Union.

Maritime wind energy can make a significant contribution to the three key objectives of the new Energy Policy, which are:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • the security of supply;
  • improving the competitiveness of the Union.

Benefits of maritime wind energy

This type of energy has a number of benefits compared to the production of onshore wind energy:

  • production units at sea are larger than on land;
  • winds are stronger and more stable at sea than on land;
  • wind farms at sea cause less concern among neighbouring citizens.

This type of wind farm can be beneficial for the protection of certain marine ecosystems and can also allow other new uses of the sea to be developed, especially offshore aquaculture, which can benefit from the substructures of wind farms.

This energy is also a vast, indigenous, clean and renewable source.

The potential of this type of energy

It appears entirely possible to envisage, by 2020, that its utilisation will be 30 to 40 times greater than the current installed capacity of offshore wind farms.

Other sources of energy production should also be developed on a large scale, such as tidal, wave, thermal or marine current energy.

It is therefore necessary to have a clear legislative and political framework in order to exploit this type of energy fully. It is possible, in this perspective, to develop synergies between the Energy Policy for Europe and the new Integrated Maritime Policy for the Union.

At European level, the existing framework has been supplemented by the third “internal energy market package” of October 2007 and by the “energy and climate” package presented in January 2008. The timely adoption and implementation of these two packages will form the EU’s main contribution to promoting offshore wind energy.

Obstacles to the development of maritime wind energy

The first obstacle to the development of maritime wind energy is the competition that it faces from the onshore wind energy sector and the oil and gas industry for financing, equipment and expertise. Businesses in the maritime wind energy sector encounter difficulties in financing the projects or technologies necessary for the development of this type of energy.

The second obstacle lies in the absence of electrical transmission systems at sea, and in Member States’ lack of experience with integrated spatial planning in the marine environment which may lead to the abandonment of certain projects. Moreover, the potential synergies between offshore projects and cross-border inter-connectors of regional electricity markets are currently not being exploited.

Third, not all of the protected areas in the marine environment have been designated yet.Consequently, it is difficult to define the boundaries of maritime wind farms. It is therefore crucial that Member States should designate the protected areas and exchange information on the environmental impact of wind farms.

Finally, offshore projects are bigger than onshore projects. The energy produced at sea, i.e. in an uninhabited area,will be difficult to distribute on land. It is therefore necessary to extend the interconnection capacity.

Offshore wind farms: the energy of the future

The development of maritime wind energy is a relevant alternative because it contributes to the implementation of clean energies.

Measures must be taken to enable the provision of the technologies and infrastructures necessary for the development of offshore wind farms. The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan), adopted in 2008, constitutes the basic framework which will make it possible to meet the main technological challenges facing this sector by 2020. That plan identifies doubling the production of offshore wind farms as one of the key challenges for meeting the 2020 targets. This will make it possible to maintain the Union’s dominant position in the area of wind farm technology.

The Commission highlights maritime wind energy in its 2009 energy work programme and intends to support research in this field. It also encourages Member States to define the role of offshore wind farms clearly in their national plans envisaged in the context of the implementation of the new Directive concerning the promotion of renewable energy proposed by the Commission in January 2008.

The Commission undertakes to encourage transmission system operators and energy regulators to strengthen their cooperation in order to quickly put in place more favourable regulatory conditions encouraging investment in transnational offshore grids, cross-border trade and the development of efficient balancing power markets.

Another challenge lies in integrated spatial planning of the marine environment in order to reconcile the sectoral interests of environmental and species protection with the production of clean energy, and in this context the Commission will also seek to facilitate regional cooperation in the planning of the electricity grid and the planning of offshore wind farm sites.

Context

Electricity from wind represents around 4% of the total production of electricity from clean energies in the EU. Nevertheless, its importance is tending to increase insofar as wind energy, together with natural gas, represents the fastest-growing generation technology and has reached rates of around 20% in some Member States.

Placing of plant protection products on the market

Placing of plant protection products on the market

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Placing of plant protection products on the market

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Plant health checks

Placing of plant protection products on the market

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC.

Summary

The Regulation confirms the importance that the European Commission places on a higher level of health and environmental protection, whilst seeking to harmonise the placing of plant protection products * on the market. Furthermore, it aims to improve agricultural production.

The scope of this Regulation covers plant protection products and their active substances *.

The Regulation lays down approval criteria for active substances. An active substance shall be approved if it fulfils the criteria detailed in points 2 and 3 of Annex II to the Regulation. These criteria relate to the efficacy of the substance, its composition, its characteristics, the methods of analysis available, the impact on human health and the environment, ecotoxicology and the relevance of metabolites and residues. As such, an active substance shall only be approved if it is not classified as category 1A or 1B mutagenic, carcinogenic or toxic for reproduction, and is not considered to have endocrine disrupting properties. Furthermore, an active substance which is considered to be a persistent organic pollutant, or as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, or even as a very persistent and very bioaccumulative substance, shall not be approved.

The first approval is valid for a limited period which cannot exceed ten years and may be subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding, for example, the purity of the active substance, the intended crop and the category of user.

Authorisation to place plant protection products on the market remains the responsibility of Member States. Applications are submitted to the Member State where the product is intended to be placed on the market for the first time. Applications shall be accompanied by two dossiers containing all the information available to enable the potential effects of the plant protection product on human and animal health, and the possible impact on the environment, to be assessed. The information provided by the applicant or the producer may be protected by a confidentiality clause if it constitutes an industrial or trade secret.

The time required to examine the application for authorisation to place a plant protection product on the market is limited to a period of twelve months, commencing on the date that the Member State receives the application. During this period, the Member State shall check whether the product concerned satisfies the authorisation conditions. If further information is required, the Member State may extend the initial assessment period in order to allow the applicant time to provide it. This period may not exceed six months and shall expire when the Member State receives the additional information. Where at the end of that period, the applicant has not submitted the missing elements, the Member State shall inform the applicant that the application is inadmissible.

Authorisation for placing on the market is valid for 10 years and may be renewed. A Member State may review an authorisation at any time if it no longer complies with one of the pre-conditions for placing on the market. Should this be the case, a Member State may withdraw or amend the authorisation.

The principle of mutual recognition established in this Regulation enables the holder of an authorisation to place the product on the market in another Member State insofar as the agricultural, plant health and environmental conditions are comparable in the regions concerned. However, the Member State may provisionally limit or ban the movement of a product on its territory if the product in question presents a risk to human or animal health, or to the environment.

In order to ensure protection for certain crops, the Regulation enables the holder of an authorisation for a plant protection product which has already been authorised in the Member State concerned, to request that the authorisation be extended to minor uses not yet covered by that authorisation. These extensions of use are also covered by the principle of mutual recognition.

Member States shall update the information on authorised or withdrawn plant protection products at least once every three months. This information shall be accessible to the public.

A provisional authorisation may be granted for the placing on the market of plant protection products containing an active substance which has not yet been approved. The provisional authorisation shall be granted for a period not exceeding three years.

The classification, labelling and packaging of plant protection products is also subject to the requirements provided for by Directive 1999/45/EC regarding dangerous preparations. The packaging of the aforementioned products should prevent consumers from using the products incorrectly.

Member States shall carry out official controls in order to enforce compliance with this Regulation. They shall finalise and transmit to the Commission a report on the scope and the results of these controls within six months of the end of the year to which the report relates. The Commission shall call on experts to carry out general and specific audits in the Member States. The aim of these audits is to verify the official controls carried out by the Member States.

The Commission may adopt emergency measures in order to restrict or prohibit the use and/or sale of a plant protection product if it is likely to constitute a serious risk to human or animal health or the environment, and that such a risk cannot be contained by the Member State(s) concerned.

Context

On 14 June 2011, this Regulation shall repeal and replace:

  • Directive 79/117/EEC concerning prohibited plant protection products; and
  • Directive 91/414/EEC concerning authorised plant protection products.
Key terms of the Act
  • Plant protection product: products consisting of or containing active substances, safeners or synergists, and intended for one of the following uses:
    1. protecting plants or plant products against all harmful organisms or preventing the action of such organisms, unless the main purpose of these products is considered to be for reasons of hygiene rather than for the protection of plants or plant products;
    2. influencing the life processes of plants, such as substances influencing their growth, other than as a nutrient;
    3. preserving plant products, in so far as such substances or products are not subject to special Community provisions on preservatives;
    4. destroying undesired plants or parts of plants, except algae unless the products are applied on soil or water to protect plants;
    5. checking or preventing undesired growth of plants, except algae.
  • Active substances: substances or micro-organisms, including viruses, having general or specific action against harmful organisms or on plants, parts of plants or plant products.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009

14.12.2009

OJ L 309 of 24.11.2009

Natural habitats

Natural habitats

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Natural habitats

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Protection of nature and biodiversity

Natural habitats (Natura 2000)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The continuing deterioration of natural habitats and the threats posed to certain species are one of the main concerns of European Union (EU) environment policy. This Directive, known as the Habitats Directive, is intended to help maintain biodiversity in the Member States by defining a common framework for the conservation of wild plants and animals and habitats of Community interest.

The Habitats Directive established the “Natura 2000” network. This network is the largest ecological network in the world. It comprises special areas of conservation designated by Member States under the current Directive. Furthermore, it also includes special protection areas classified pursuant to the “Wild birds” Directive 2009/147/EC.

Annexes I and II to the Directive contain the types of habitats and species whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation. Some of them are defined as “priority” habitats or species (in danger of disappearing). Annex IV lists animal and plant species in need of particularly strict protection.

Special areas of conservation are designated in three stages. Following the criteria set out in the annexes, each Member State must draw up a list of sites hosting natural habitats and wild fauna and flora. On the basis of the national lists and by agreement with the Member States, the Commission will then adopt a list of sites of Community importance for each of the nine EU biogeographical regions (the Alpine region, the Atlantic region, the Black Sea region, the Boreal region, the Continental region, the Macronesian region, the Mediterranean region, the Pannonian region and the Steppic region). No later than six years after the selection of a site of Community importance, the Member State concerned must designate it as a special area of conservation.

Where the Commission considers that a site which hosts a priority natural habitat type or a priority species has been omitted from a national list, the Directive provides for a bilateral consultation procedure to be initiated between that Member State and the Commission. If the result of the consultation is unsatisfactory, the Commission must forward a proposal to the Council relating to the selection of the site as a site of Community importance.

Member States must take all necessary measures to guarantee the conservation of habitats in special areas of conservation, and to avoid their deterioration and the significant disturbance of species. The Directive provides for co-financing of conservation measures by the Community.

Member States must also:

  • encourage the management of features of the landscape which are essential for the migration, dispersal and genetic exchange of wild species;
  • establish systems of strict protection for those animal and plant species which are particularly threatened (Annex IV) and study the desirability of reintroducing those species in their territory;
  • prohibit the use of non-selective methods of taking, capturing or killing certain animal and plant species (Annex V).

Every six years, Member States must report on the measures they have taken pursuant to the Directive. The Commission must draw up a summary report on the basis thereof.

The annexes to the Directive were amended to take account of the biodiversity of the countries who acceded to the EU in 2004 and 2007. The enlargement brought new challenges for biodiversity, as well as new elements, including three new biogeographical regions (the Black Sea region, the Pannonian region and the Steppic region).

The Natura 2000 network now represents around 18 % of the EU’s terrestrial territory.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 92/43/EEC

10.6.1992

10.6.1992

OJ L 206 of 22.7.1992

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 97/62/EC

29.11.1997

31.12.1997

OJ L 305 of 8.11.1997

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Directive 2006/105/EC

1.1.2007

1.1.2007

OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

The successive amendments and corrections successive to Directive 92/43/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 13 July 2009 – Report on the Conservation Status of Habitat Types and Species as required under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive [COM(2009) 358 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report enabled the implementation of the Habitats Directive for the period 2001-2006 in the 25 Member States to be assessed. The report provides an overview of the biodiversity situation in the EU. It also constitutes a clear point of reference for assessing future trends in the status of its most vulnerable species and habitats.
The results show that favourable conservation status has not been achieved for many habitats and species listed under the Habitats Directive. Certain habitat types (in particular, grassland, wetland and coastal zones) have an overall poor status. Signs of recovery have been observed for certain species (for example, the wolf, Eurasian lynx, beaver and otter). However, further efforts are required to establish healthy and sustainable populations.
The Natura 2000 network must continue to develop; restoration measures for certain sites must be provided. The network and sites will then need to be managed effectively and properly resourced.
Lastly, a large number of Member States do not invest sufficient resources in monitoring the status of species and habitats within their territories. In the absence of reliable data it will be impossible to assess the impact of conservation measures.

Biogeographical regions

In line with the “Habitats Directive”, the Commission must, in agreement with the Member States concerned, draw up a list of sites of European importance for each of the nine biogeographical regions.

List of the Alpine region sites
Decision 2011/62/EU [Official Journal L 33 of 8.2.2011].

List of the Atlantic region sites
Decision 2011/63/EU [Official Journal L 33 of 8.2.2011].

List of the Black Sea region sites
Decision 2009/92/EC [Official Journal L 43 of 13.2.2009].

List of the Boreal region sites
Decision 2011/84/EU [Official Journal L 40 of 12.2.2011].

List of the Continental region sites
Decision 2011/64/EU [Official Journal L 33 of 8.2.2011].

List of the Macronesian region sites
Decision 2009/1001/EC [Official Journal L 344 of 23.12.2009].

List of the Mediterranean region sites
Decision 2011/85/EU [Official Journal L 40 of 12.2.2011].

List of the Pannonian region sites
Decision 2011/86/EU [Official Journal L 40 of 12.2.2011].

List of the Steppic region sites
Decision 2008/966/EC [Official Journal L 344 of 20.12.2008].

Financing Natura 2000

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 July 2004 – Financing Natura 2000 [COM(2004) 431– Not published in the Official Journal].
With completion of the Natura 2000 network, the management of designated sites will become the priority measure for protecting biodiversity in the EU. Sufficient funding will be required to ensure that the Natura 2000 network fulfils the objectives that have been set and is adapted to specific local requirements. The Commission considers that the network can bring considerable benefits, both economic (the development of ecosystem services, provision of food and wood products, activities related to the site such as tourism, etc.) and social (more diverse employment opportunities, increased social stability, improved living conditions, safeguarding heritage, etc.). A new Communication on financing Natura 2000 should be adopted by the end of 2011.

Noise management at EU airports

Noise management at EU airports

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Noise management at EU airports

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Transport energy and the environment

Noise management at EU airports

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2002/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 March 2002 on the establishment of rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise?related operating restrictions at Community airports [See amending act].

Summary

This directive aims to promote the sustainable development of air transport through the reduction of noise pollution from aircraft at airports. The use of aircraft with a better environmental performance can contribute to a more effective use of the available airport capacity and facilitate the development of airport infrastructure in line with market requirements.

The directive lays down common rules for prohibiting the noisiest aircraft from European airports and repeals Regulation (EC) No 925/1999, the ‘Hushkit’ Regulation, which was intended to prohibit the registration in Europe of aircraft fitted with noise-reducing devices.

This new directive allows airports with a noise problem to introduce a series of operating restrictions, including the gradual withdrawal of the noisiest aircraft. The ‘Hushkit Regulation’ had maintained the status quo and did not provide for the withdrawal of aircraft fitted with noise-muffling systems already operating in Europe.

EU countries’ competent authorities may prohibit or restrict the use of aircraft whose compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) noise standards is only ‘marginal’, i.e. aircraft which meet the standards in force by a margin of no more than 5 decibels.

The airport authorities must establish the existence of a noise nuisance by carrying out an impact assessment and prove that all other available measures to reduce noise at the airport concerned have been taken.

Objectives and content

The ‘Hushkits Regulation’ was a response to the inability to reach an agreement within the ICAO on measures to control aircraft noise. Hushkits are devices fitted to the engines of older designs of aircraft in order to reduce their noise levels.

In the directive, noise management is structured around a balanced approach. It is an approach that involves solving noise problems on an ‘airport-by-airport’ basis and requires careful assessment of four key elements:

  • reduction of aeroplane noise at source;
  • land-use planning and management measures;
  • noise abatement operational procedures;
  • local operating restrictions relating to noise problems.

The objectives of the directive are to:

  • lay down rules for the EU to facilitate the introduction of operating restrictions in a consistent manner at airport level so as to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by the harmful effects of noise;
  • provide a framework which safeguards internal market requirements;
  • promote development of airport capacity in harmony with the environment;
  • facilitate the achievement of specific noise abatement objectives at individual airport level;
  • achieve maximum environmental benefit in the most cost-effective manner.

The directive allows for more stringent noise standards. However, unlike the ‘Hushkits Regulation’, it allows such restrictions to be imposed only at the most noise?sensitive airports (those with more than 50 000 movements per year and city airports).

Four city airports (Berlin-Tempelhof, Stockholm Bromma, London City and Belfast City) will be able to apply more stringent rules. Aircraft registered in developing countries and already in use before December 2001 at the European airports concerned may be exempted for a period of ten years.

As the directive lays down identical rules for all airports, it also ensures compliance with the rules of the internal market by preventing unfair competition between airports.

The directive allows for a common approach for assessing the current and foreseeable noise climate. If necessary, airports may require that ‘marginally compliant’ aircraft, i.e. old aircraft fitted with systems which reduce noise by small amounts, be withdrawn.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2002/30/EC

28.3.2002

28.9.2003

OJ L 85, 28.3.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/30/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 February 2008 – Noise Operation Restrictions at EU Airports – (Report on the application of Directive 2002/30/EC) [COM(2008) 66 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The report looks at whether the objective of Directive 2002/30/EC has been achieved and to what extent the directive itself contributed to this. It includes an assessment of the directive’s effectiveness and concludes that it:

  • has made it possible to create a harmonised structure for a balanced approach and to ensure that all interests are taken into account when restrictions are considered;
  • has been used only at a limited number of airports and is not sufficiently clear;
  • has had a limited impact on aircraft.

Furthermore, the report notes that, in general, the number of people affected by noise has increased because the number of movements has increased.
The Commission predicts that the number of people affected will continue to rise and therefore intends to look into whether it would be possible to clarify both the provisions of the directive and its scope.

Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise [Official Journal L 189 of 18 July 2002].