Issue 26

Early September 2013

The latest implementation report for the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive adopted nearly 22 years ago in Europe show improvements in collection and treatment, even if big differences remain between the Member States. Frontrunners such as Austria, Germany and the Netherlands largely meet EU minimum standards for wastewater treatment with several others being very close.

ENEP will participate in the 2013 EEB Annual Conference which will this year focus on the interface between economy and environment. With the economic crisis that began more than five years ago having turned out to be more than a temporary blip, there is an opportunity and indeed an obligation for Europe to look for long term solutions – solutions that respect environmental and social imperatives – so that any recovery is genuine and sustainable and does not exacerbate environmental problems, rather the opposite.

A new Regulation on biocidal products has come into effect on 1st September that will increase safety and simplify the authorisation procedure of biocides. Biocides are chemicals used to suppress harmful organisms such as pests and germs (i.e. moulds and bacteria). They include insect repellents, disinfectants and industrial chemicals like anti-fouling paints for ships and material preservatives. The new Regulation allows EU-wide authorisation for biocidal products, which will enable industry to directly place their products on the entire EU market.

According to the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) if biofuels received no EU policy support, the price of food stuffs such as vegetable oil would be 50% lower in Europe by 2020 than at present.  With more than half of all vegetable oils due to be used for biodiesel production in 2020, any decrease in biodiesel production will strongly affect the vegetable oil market the new report confirms.

This week the European Commission adopted new legislation to prevent and manage the rapidly growing threat from invasive species. There are currently over 12 000 species present in Europe which are alien to the natural environment. About 15% of these are invasive and they are rapidly growing in number. The proposal is designed to respond to increasing problems caused by these invasive alien species, which includes their economic impact, on human health, damage to buildings and production losses in farming with crops and animals.