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Defra seeks feedback on groundwater proposals

The government is looking for feedback on proposed amendments to the Groundwater Regulations 1998.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published its consultation this week and feedback is sought from anyone who discharges substances which can cause groundwater pollution, or who currently follows the existing groundwater regulations.

Environment Minister Phil Woolas said the practical consequences of the proposed changes for those involved with groundwater would be minor. "It's a priority for the proposed guidelines to be as simple, workable and cost-neutral as possible, all while safeguarding groundwater. While a slightly wider range of hazardous substances will be subject to controls, there will also be greater flexibility around these controls," he said.

Regular meetings with stakeholders from the water, chemicals, mining, waste, and agricultural sectors, and green NGOs, have taken place to inform the proposed amendments. These amendments to the Groundwater Regulations 1998 will ensure that the UK meets the requirements of Article 6 of the 2006 Groundwater Directive, a 'daughter' directive under Article 17 of the EU Water Framework Directive.

The consultation paper, including information on how submissions can be received, is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/wfdgroundwater-transpose-artile6/ Submissions will close on 20th August, 2008.

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