Luxembourg sewage plants fail to meet standards

Some of Luxenbourg's sewage plants in environmentally sensitive areas are not removing enough nitrogen, a court has found.

Commission v Luxembourg

Urban Waste Water Treatment

The European Court of Justice has found Luxembourg to have failed in its obligations under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC. Luxembourg was unable to prove that sewage treatment plants that were exempted from tighter treatment standards in environmentally sensitive areas were removing sufficient nitrogen pollution from the water to qualify for the exemption.

There was supposed to be a minimum percentage reduction of the total load entering the plant of at least 75% for nitrogen.

Luxembourg did point to it's national programme of modernising the treatment plants, and stated that the percentage reduction of the total nitrogen loads would continue to increase, and would reach 75% by 2008 at the latest after the modernisation was complete, but the Court could not take this into account as the programme was commenced after the date of the Reasoned Opinion issued by the Commission.

The text of the case is available in French at the following link.

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