The European Commission is urging Austria to enact the Directive on priority substances in the field of water policy (Directive 2013/39/EU) in their domestic law, an obligation which had to be fulfilled by 14 September 2015.
Priority substances are chemicals which present a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment within the EU. This Directive aims to reduce such pollution of waters at the source by setting levels of concentration which are safe for the aquatic environment and for human health.
The Directive takes into account new priority substances for the achievement of good surface water chemical status – which is defined in terms of compliance with all the quality standards established for chemical substances at European level – with a focus on emerging pollutants.
After the Austrian authorities missed the original deadline, the European Commission sent a letter of formal notice on 20 November 2015. As the domestic legislation for the enactment of the Directive is still at the consultation and assessment stage, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion. Austria now has two months to notify the Commission of measures taken to bring national legislation in line with EU law; otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the Austrian authorities to the Court of Justice of the EU.
-Source EC press release database-