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Environment Agency faces up to new water legislation

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY officials this week faced a series of challenging deadlines after the government published draft water legislation.

The proposals will transpose the European Water Framework Directive into UK law in December.

The Agency has more than 130 staff working on ways of implementing the directive before it becomes law.

'The quality of staff on the project is phenomenal as they are volunteering for this project. They see it as the way of the future, ' said Environment Agency head of water quality Martin Griffiths.

The Agency must carry out a series of studies on the ecological status of each river basin.

These studies include the impact of human activity on the basins, an economic analysis of water use and a register of protected areas.

A river basin management plan will then be drawn up for each catchment by December 2009.

A checklist of contents for the plans is outlined in the legislation and includes a list of environmental objectives and a programme of measures for achieving these.

The draft regulations are contained in the government's third water framework consultation paper published this week.

'This is ultimately what we think the legislation should be but we will work on the finer details of legislation regarding boundaries between England and Wales, ' said a spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.


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