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Work with nature, not against it

The effects of urbanisation and industrialisation on the fragile balance between land and water have been known for many years. Ciwem's Nick Reeves believes a fundamental shift in attitudes and practices is needed to prevent these finite resources from irrevocable depletion.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary May 07

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see the EU authorising the use of six chemicals found in pesticides, new rules on greenhouse gas emission trading in the UK, while Northern Ireland sees a host of new water and sewerage service regulations come into force.

Electrification plan for Cuban irrigation

Much of the antiquated irrigation equipment in use in Cuba is rusty, very inefficient and environmentally damaging. Linda Cechura of the OPEC Fund for International Development describes how the Government's 10-year plan to electrify the nation's irrigation systems has already benefited farmers in Ciego de Avila province.

The rise and rise of UV disinfection

Ultraviolet disinfection is no longer an emerging technology. This is supported by the fact that it is used to treat more than three billion litres of water every day around the world. Craig Howarth reports.

UVPS spells the end for chlorine

Water treatment is undergoing a major change with ever more stringent regulations on drinking water, discharge consent levels, water quality as examples. There are also regulations being driven by the EC to phase out the use of chlorine. This, coupled with increased public awareness, represents a major opportunity for UVPS, which offers a low-energy, non-toxic and sustainable water treatment technology. Professor Peter Robertson explains.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary, October 06

This month sees the EU get tough on battery disposal, setting targets for member states in a Directive on battery and accumulator recycling, as well as increasing its efforts to involve citizens in environmental policy making and tightening up freshwater quality regulations.

European ruling on plant protection and biocides

A Dutch local authority has been slugging it out in the courts with the country's environment ministry over the allowed use of pesticides.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary, July 06

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we look at the second reading of the EU's Groundwater Directive, the introduction of RoHS regulations, restrictions on ozone depleting substances and new rules for waste management in Northern Ireland.

Encouraging innovation in the water sector

Steve Kaye, Anglian's head of R&D and a visiting professor at Imperial College, discusses the increasing importance of research and development in the water industry

Leakage-driven mains renewal

Frank Rogalla of Black & Veatch, Caroline Scruggs and Gary Hunter discuss endochrine-disrupting chemicals, and methods of their removal

Germany falls foul of EC for failing threatened species

The European Commission has taken Germany to court for failure to observe rules on environmental impact assessments.

The great non-debate

Governments are hard-wired to population growth for economic prosperity. But, asks CIWEM executive director, Nick Reeves, what is the environmental impact?

Edie environmental case law summary January 2006

This month Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK, Europe and further afield. This month is packed with continental cases as Belgium and Germany fail to act fast enough on the Water Framework Directive, Finland and Spain find themselves in the EC's sights over hunting issues, Germany is told to do more to protect wildlife from pesticide pollution and Spain is urged to clean up its coastal waters.

Germany fails to protect important habitat from pollution

The European Commission has reprimanded Germany for failing to protect key species from pesticides and other pollutants.

Germany not doing enough to protect conservation areas: Case C-98/03, Commission v Germany

The Advocate General delivered his opinion in the case of Commission v Germany on 24 November 2005. The case was brought against the Federal Republic of Germany back in February 2003, concerning alleged breaches of the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EC).

Going underground

Rob Sage, water resources manager at the Veolia Water Partnership, assesses the impacts on public supply of declining groundwater quality

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (September 2005)

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the changes this month we see the ratification of a pan-European protocol on water and health, the introduction of new packaging waste recycling targets, the EC gives GM animal feed the green light, combined heat and power stations get climate change tax cut in the UK, new regulations for offshore oil discharge and an overhaul of health and safety regulations for animal by-products in England and Wales.

Medium-pressure UV lamps are effective in Norway's cold climate. Photo: Berson

UV solution for giardiasis outbreak in Norway

When the city of Bergen's water supply was identified as the source of giardia infection in the population, the proposed solution was to install a UV system. As Ben Kalisvaart, microbiology specialist and European sales manager for Dutch contractor Berson, reports, the urgency of the project meant that it was realised within two months of being put into action.

Farmers awarded grants to tackle water pollution

Farmers in the South West have been awarded more than £5.7m in grants over the past year from a government-funded initiative to tackle water pollution across the region.

Innovation harnessed in Dutch water treatment

A utility in the Netherlands has taken an innovative approach to making treatment more effective and more sustainable at a number of its sites. Aqualia's Frank Rogalla finds out what has been achieved

Water scarcity overtakes global warming as top environmental concern

Water pollution and water supply issues have overtaken global warming as a top environmental concern, according to a new report.

Asda aims to increase British-sourced food by some £270M by 2013

Asda targets increase in sustainable agriculture

As part of its parent company's sustainable programme, Asda will be sourcing more food from British producers

Image: EWG

Eating lamb worst for environment

US environmental lobby group, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), has released a study measuring the environmental impact of meat and dairy products.

Proven effective

Arvia Technology has introduced a new process for the removal and destruction of organic contaminants in water. This article is a summary of a presentation given at IWEX by Nigel Brown, the company’s technical director.

Call for fresh look at safeguarding water from pesticides and nitrates

A water company is calling on the Government to look again at how it safeguards drinking water near agricultural areas.

Report author Tracey Woodruff

Toxic chemicals found in pregnant women

Dangerous toxic chemicals have been found pregnant women in a study in the US.

Pesticides consultation published

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published the responses today to a consultation on new EU pesticides legislation.

Defra goes down to the farm

An innovative approach to catchment monitoring is being piloted by Defra and the Environment Agency in anticipation of the Water Framework Directive. A Technology Strategy Board event gave Natasha Wiseman the opportunity to find out more

There were 14,000 fewer cases of fly-tipping in Wales last year

Fly-tipping down in Wales

New figures published today (9th September) reveal that fly-tipping in Wales is continuing to decline, following investment by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Monsanto stung with highest ever civil penalty for GM misbranding

Agribusiness giant Monsanto is to pay a multi-million dollar penalty for misbranding violations relating to genetically engineered pesticides.

Verdant: processing Thurrock's organic waste

Verdant wins first organics treatment deal

Verdant, the Greenstar UK subsidiary, has secured a seven-year contract worth £7M to manage the treatment of food and garden waste collected by Thurrock Council.

Vegetation management and exploitation – future opportunities

Jon Abbatt, principal consultant at environmental consultancy ADAS, who works with a number of utilities like Network Rail, Scottish Power and United Utilities believes vegetation is going to continue rising up the agenda until it is a board-level issue for all major land-owning entities. Here he explains the issues.

UK to consult on sustainable pesticides

The UK Government has launched a consultation on how to put into action European rules on sustainable pesticides.

Sprucing up the drinking water supply

When algal blooms were causing major problems at a Scottish water treatment works, FilterClear came to the rescue.

Genetic crops cause huge rise in pesticides

Genetically engineered crops have caused a 383m pound rise in the use of pesticides in the US from 1996 to 2008, according to a new Organic Centre report.

Feed the world

Climate change is posing a serious threat to our food supply. CIWEM executive director, Nick Reeves, calls for a revolution in farming and consumer attitudes

Rainwater or greywater?

In the second in a series of articles, Stormsaver's Michael Farnsworth discusses the relative benefits of rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

UK woman wins 7yr pesticides battle

In a judgement which vindicated an environmental campaigner's seven-year battle to challenge the UK Government's pesticides policy, the High Court has upheld Georgina Downs' claim that the UK Government failed to comply with its obligations under the European Pesticides Directive (91/414/EEC) to protect rural residents from the use of pesticides by farmers.

ECJ rules against pesticides firms

The European Court of Justice has rejected an application lodged by pesticides manufacturers.

Edie Case Law Summary December 2008

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe.

Anticipating river management

The draft River Basin Management Plans will be published next month. Simon Clarke of the EIC's Water Pollution Control Working Group analyses some of the issues and concerns

Edie Legislation Summary November 2008

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy.

Environmental Case Law Summary, August 2008

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. In a busy month for the European Court of Justice, the German courts have asked for an interpretation of air quality legislation, a Slovakian steel firm has seen its appeal against ETS caps dismissed, and a trio of chemical firms have failed in an attempt to have European Food Safety Authority opinions annulled.

Pesticides - Europe

The ECJ has thrown out three separate actions challenging the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Lean manufacturing made simple

Tom Idle paid a visit office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller to find out more about its impressive new offices, built to the latest environmental standards. But, besides the shiny new building, he found a company at the leading edge of sustainable practice

The importance of flow and load surveys

Although seemingly expensive, a flow and load survey can save vast sums of money - and it can prove to be a key aspect of a wastewater treatment works, writes Paul Lavender of Aqua Enviro

Household insecticides linked to Parkinson's

Common household herbicides and insecticides could be linked to the onset of Parkinson's disease, a new study has found.

Bee killer fined for eco crimes

News in Brief

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary March 2008

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. This month sees industry preparing for Site Waste Management Plans, amendment of regulations covering land contaminated by radiation and legislation designed to control diffuse pollution in Scotland.

Environmental Case Law Summary, March 2008

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. This month the courts look into an EIA for a Belgian freight airport, gave the thumbs up to French laws restricting the import of pesticides and the Court of Appeal settles a squabble between insurers over who must pay for land remediation.

France allowed to restrict pesticide imports

France has been told that laws which effectively block the import of certain pesticides do not amount to a breech of free trade agreements.

Grants to reduce pregnancy pollution risks

More than $500,000 has been handed out to organisations in five US states to raise awareness about environmental health risks that can harm unborn babies.

Several samples of grapes breached legal limits

Foods pass pesticide tests

More than half of the UK foods tested in an independent study had no detectable residues of pesticides, and a further 45% were within legal limits.

In order to improve ship efficiency, many of the anti-fouling coatings used to enhance speed and fuel conservation use biocides to rid ships of marine life

AkzoNobel launches bio-renewable coating following anti-fouling accusations

Paint and coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has launched a new biocide-free coating offering fuel and carbon savings for ships, just weeks after the company was accused of forming part of the "worst catastrophe to hit the marine environment".

ECJ considers pesticide trade rules

The European Court of Justice has been asked to look at laws controlling the cross-border trade of products designed to protect plants - primarily pesticides and fungicides.

Eat your veg - health benefits outweigh pesticide concerns

The doctor who heads up a national committee charged with investigating the levels of pesticide in the foods we are sold has said he understands there is a degree of public concern over chemical contamination, but the benefits of getting your five a day outweigh the dangers.

Pollution blamed for Chinese cancer explosion

Pesticides, chemical food additives and air and water pollution have been blamed by the Chinese authorities on rocketing rates of cancers in the country.

Committee chair Andrew Miller:

UK must have power to decide on GM crops, say MPs

GM crops are an indispensable tool in the fight against global hunger and the UK should retain ultimate power to decide on the technology, MP's have claimed.

Seeds are sown for farming waste rules

Farmers and growers are being reminded that they need to gear up for new rules governing the disposal of fuel oil and pesticides which will kick in next month.

The effect of pollution in the Yangtze is irreversible

Health check paints bleak future for Yangtze

Fertiliser run-off from countless farms and gardens is choking the lower reaches of China's biggest river and the authorities appear powerless to stop it.

Scientists have put forward a possible link between diabetes and POPs but could it be that, as in the animal kingdom, those with more fat store more pollutants?

Pollution link to diabetes

Links between the levels of pollutants typically found in oily fish and pesticides and the chances of suffering diabetes have been explored by Korean and American scientists.

Progress for pesticides policy in Europe

The latest proposed piece of regulation to add to Europe's growing body of environmental legislation made it over an important hurdle this week but was also diverted down an unexpected political corridor.

Pesticides campaigner takes Defra to the High Court

A woman who has been fighting for stricter laws controlling the spraying of agricultural chemicals has welcomed a judge's decision to allow her to take her battle to the next level.

The Responsibly Grown system labels fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers as 'good,' 'better' or 'best' to help shoppers make more informed choices

Good, better, best: Whole Foods launches rating system for environmental impact of produce

Whole Foods Market has introduced the Responsibly Grown produce rating system which assesses the impact of farming practices on the environment and human health.

The UN has revealed that the zone layer is recovering so fast that it will be more or less mended by the middle of the century

Stopping climate meltdown needs the courage that saved the ozone layer

Governments dither on the solution to global warming - but the Montreal protocol is a reminder of a time when they took their hands out of their pockets.

Unilever ultimately wants to reduce or eliminate pesticides in tea growing

Unilever eyes non-pesticide methods of tea crop protection

Unilever is initiating a major scientific study to evaluate the feasibility of applying biological methods for plant protection of tea crops in India.

Pollution threatening groundwater supplies, EA warns

Most of England's groundwater is at risk from agricultural fertilisers, pesticides, solvents and other contaminants, the Environment Agency has said in its first groundwater assessment report.

H&M increased its use of organic cotton last year by 29%, reducing the use of harmful pesticides in its supply chain. pic: Martin Good/

H&M leads the field in sustainable cotton use

H&M has topped the list of the world's biggest users of certified organic cotton, according to the Textile Exchange's latest report.

The clothing chain wants to create a sustainable fashion future

H&M increases use of sustainable cotton

Clothing giant H&M has increased the use of sustainably sourced cotton in its products to 15.8%, up from 11.4% in 2012.

Public given chance to quiz pesticide watchdogs

News in Brief

The USA is tightening controls on dangerous pesticides

USA to phase out hazardous pesticides

Regulation of pesticide use in the USA is set to be tightened, with plans to phase out a family of harmful chemicals from agricultural use.

Insects damage plants, but are pesticides damaging farmers and their neighbours?

Campaigner dismisses Defra response to pesticide report

The Government has published a response to research into the impact of pesticides on the environment and human health.

The EC wants to see better regulated use of pesticides

Commission seeks fresh pesticide legislation

The European Commission has proposed a set of new legislative measures and a new strategy to control the use of pesticides, including an almost complete ban on aerial spraying.

C&A seeks to tackle water 'hotspots' across textiles value chain

C&A is embarking on a three-year strategic collaboration to reduce the water footprint of its textile supply chain.

Closing off land to spray dangerous pesticides is no longer an option

Government admits farmers cannot close rights of way to spray crops

The Government has been forced to retract part of its official guidance on crop spraying, because it erroneously advised farmers that they could close rights of way when they spray fields with pesticides.

12 new substances will be monitored regularly in all Member States

EU Commission to monitor twelve new water polluting substances

The European Commission has agreed on an updated list of 'priority' substances known to pollute water at the first reading of the Priority Substance Directive.

The impact of crop spraying is considered in depth in a new Government report

Pesticide strategy tackles pollution but not human health

The government has published a new strategy on the future of pesticides which will attempt to make their use less harmful to the environment.

HP strengthens recycling network to close loop on cartridge waste

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has expanded its free customer recycling take-back scheme for cartridges as it looks to strengthen its closed loop plastics recovery operations.

Stepping into an ethical future

Social and environmental responsibility is the foundation upon which French shoe and accessory manufacturer Veja built its business from the outset - with considerable success, going from manufacturing 5,000 pairs of shoes to 125,000 pairs in just six years.

Pesticide buffer zone based on bad science

Comments made by the Government's Advisory Committee on Pesticides on a report published by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution last autumn have cranked up the debate on public health risks caused by agriculture.

A taste for sustainability

Facing the prospect of a global shortfall in cocoa production of one million tonnes by 2020, Mars Chocolate has implemented a worldwide sustainability initiative, working with the five million smallholders who grow the majority of the world's cocoa - "putting farmers first" to increase yield.

Projects eligible under the CSF grant include managing pesticides to reduce groundwater impacts and silage stores and works to keep livestock away from streams.

CSF grant scheme helps farmers reduce water pollution

A grant scheme that offers funding to help farmers and producers reduce diffuse water pollution has had more than 3,000 applications submitted.

Interior view of H&M store in Stockholm, Sweden

H&M aims for sustainable 'fast-fashion'

High street fashion powerhouse H&M is ramping up its commitment to become a 'fast-fashion' eco leader with its latest report showing impressive reductions in water, energy and waste.

Pesticide pollution tackled through water friendly farming

New measures to tackle the problems of water pollution from agriculture were announced this week, particularly to tackle the problems of pesticide and fertiliser run-off.

Plans to extend EU list of dangerous water pollutants 'fall short', says WWF

Environmental group WWF has criticised plans by the European Commission to add 15 new chemicals to the current EU list of 33 dangerous water pollutants, arguing proposals "fall short".

Going underground

Rob Sage, water resources manager at the Veolia Water Partnership, assesses the impacts on public supply of declining groundwater quality

Seas at risk from bad land management and global warming warns EA

A quarter of all coastal waters are at risk from diffuse pollution caused by agricultural chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides, the Environment Agency has said.

Fears over spray drift from crop spraying formed the largest number of complaints in the HSE pesticides report

Environmental issues such as spray drift form majority of pesticide complaints

Environmental concerns are the major cause of pesticide related complaints, the HSE has reported.

Clothing industry finally gets to grips with cotton sustainability

Clothing industry leaders Marks and Spencer and Levi Strauss back plans for more sustainable cotton.

Crop spraying could be harming farming's neighbours

More pesticide protection necessary

Existing safeguards protecting the public from potential health risks of exposure to pesticides are far too weak according to an expert report.

Every strawberry tested in schools contained pesticide residues

Schools serve up fruit chemical cocktail

Fruit and vegetables served in schools are far more likely to contain pesticides than those bought on an average shopping trip.

Analysing the chemical burden

As a new legislative era dawns for chemical usage and the environment, Kirit Wadhia, ecotoxicology services manager at microbiology company NCIMB, highlights some new technological approaches.

Water catchment management not a 'silver bullet'

Water catchment management (CM) shouldn't be seen as a "silver bullet" to solve water stress and water companies "must be part of the wider picture" by working in partnership with agriculture to support CM initiatives.

Edie environmental legislation summary (July 2005)

In this month's Semple Fraser and Edie News round-up of new policies and recent changes to legislation that will impact the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally: EU bans phthalates in toys, 13 alien invaders added to list of plants banned from Scottish wilds, Northern Ireland gets new powers to designate and protect environmentally sensitive areas, UK public sector document to become more public and much more.

No time to waste: the measures needed to transform the way we deal with our waste. Friends of the Earth outlines its vision for 2020

Our vision for the future is that by 2020 waste is viewed as a valuable resource. Where possible, materials are conserved and used to their full potential through reuse and recycling.

The search is on for Prozac and other antidepressants in British rivers

Industry urged to help track antidepressants in UK rivers

Traces of the antidepressant fluoxetine, better known by its original brand name Prozac, could have reached Britain's lakes and rivers and be affecting aquatic wildlife according to the Environment Agency.

Gardeners asked to be responsible as pesticide problem grows

Gardeners across Britain are being asked to take easy steps to dispose of pesticides without harming the environment.

Risk Based Analysis Changes Laboratories' Role in Contaminated Land Assessment, by Helen Stevens of IMS.

With the recent shift in emphasis from testing geared to specific lists to a more varied, risk based approach, access to analytical techniques which can provide a comprehensive picture of a site's contamination is now more important than ever.

Biosensors for monitoring environmental emissions

By J.D. Newman, Institute of BioScience and Technology, Cranfield University Increasing concerns over the environment and the consequent political pressures to monitor consent levels, check for pollution and safeguard fragile ecosystems, have led to many initiatives to develop biosensors for environmental applications.

Children have been targeted by EPA human experiments, and parents have been offered t-shirts, cameras and other gifts in exchange for exposing their little ones to potentially dangerous pesticides and other chemicals

Safety of EPA's human chemical exposure tests in question

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the closure of public comment on its "no safeguards" policy of accepting all human subject experiments submitted by industry, according to a filing this week by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

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