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Defra accused of doing not doing enough to meet Water Framework targets

Leading members of the water pollution prevention and control industry yesterday warned that the Government risks failing to meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive – which could lead to the UK being heavily fined.

The government is running the risk of failing to meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive according to the Environmental Industries Commission’s (EIC) water pollution control working group.

"The Government's draft guidance advocates doing the minimum possible to comply with the far reaching Water Framework Directive – this approach creates a real danger that the UK will fail to meet the Directive’s requirements," said EIC Director Merlin Hyman.

Hyman's comments came in response to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' consultation on the Water Framework Directive: Draft River Basin Planning Guidance.

"Defra will be aware of the current case of the National Emissions Ceiling Directive where changes in the fuel mix and calculation methodology mean that the UK is now on course fail to meet the Directive’s 2010 targets by some distance - leaving a choice between rushed and, therefore costly, measures or being open to infraction proceedings," said Hyman.

"This lesson must be taken on board in ensuring actions taken to meet the Directive do not leave us vulnerable to failure to comply," added Hyman.

EIC’s Water Pollution Control Working Group represents over 80 member companies involved in water pollution prevention and control.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is designed to improve and integrate the way water bodies are managed throughout Europe. Member States must aim to reach good chemical and ecological status in inland and coastal waters by 2015.

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