EU Publishes New Water Policy Watch List

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August 8, 20223E Regulatory Research TeamBlog

On 26 July 2022 the EU Official Journal published a new list of substances that should be monitored in the aquatic environment. The newly published Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/1307 repeals the previous list laid down in Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/1161.

3E Review

Pursuant to the Environmental Quality Standards Directive 2008/105/EC and the EU Water Directive 2000/60/EC, the EU Commission shall establish a list of substances that may pose a significant risk to the aquatic environment. The purpose is to gather information on their concentration in EU waters and to facilitate future pollution assessment.

The list was initially created in 2015, and then revised in 2018 (by Decision (EU) 2018/840) and 2020 (by Decision (EU) 2020/1161). Due to the need to update the list every two years, the new Decision (EU) 2022/1307 introduces the following changes:

Three entries are removed, as the maximum four-year monitoring period has expired:

  • Metaflumizone
  • Amoxicillin
  • Ciprofloxacin

Six entries remain on the list for monitoring

  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Trimethoprim
  • Venlafaxine and its metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine
  • Group of ten azole compounds:
    • Pharmaceuticals: clotrimazole, fluconazole, and miconazole
    • Pesticides: imazalil, ipconazole, metconazole, penconazole, prochloraz, tebuconazole, and tetraconazole
  • Famoxadone (fungicide)
  • Dimoxystrobin (fungicide)

Nine new entries are added:

  • Azoxystrobin (fungicide)
  • Diflufenican (herbicide)
  • Fipronil (insecticide and veterinary pharmaceutical)
  • Clindamycin (antibiotic)
  • Ofloxacin (antibiotic)
  • Metformin and its metabolite guanylurea (human pharmaceutica)
  • Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (sunscreen agent)
  • Octocrylene (sunscreen agent)
  • Benzophenone-3 (sunscreen agent)

The addition of the pharmaceuticals is consistent with the EU Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, and the inclusion of the two antibiotics is also consistent with the European One Health Action Plan Against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

3E Analysis

The collected data will support future identification of the monitored substances as posing a significant risk to the aquatic environment. Therefore, in the future, these substances may be included in the Priority Substances List (Annex X to the EU Water Policy Directive 2000/60) and subject to further restrictions, such as cessation or phasing out of any discharges, emissions, or losses in the aquatic environment.