France given water warning

France is being given a final warning about its waste water treatment, which currently does not meet EU standards.

The European Commission is warning the country that it must quickly improve its standards, or face being taken to court. It has not complied with a 1991 EU directive on urban waste, even though it was previously condemned for this by the European Court of Justice.

This directive requires towns with a population of more than 10,000 to collect and treat their urban water waste, but France failed to meet this. It also rearranged 121 settlements into 164 different settlements, meaning that some no longer met the 10,000 resident threshold.

The EU has frowned on this move.

"Untreated urban waste water is a threat to European citizens and detrimental to the environmental quality of Europe's rivers, lakes and coastal waters," said EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas.

"I urge France to act swiftly otherwise the commission will consider asking the court to impose fines."

Ben Meggeson



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