Bathing Water: EC moves against Finland and Denmark

The European Commission is to send second warning letters to Finland and Denmark for failure to comply with the Bathing Waters Directive.


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Both countries failed to meet water quality standards for all bathing areas and failed to ensure that bathing waters are sufficiently monitored. The deadline for compliance with the parameters of the Directive expired in 1985. Under the Directive, Member States must supply annual reports to the Commission.

Formal notices were sent to the two countries in July last year (see related story) for persistent non-compliance with standards and sampling requirements.

Finland

The second warning letter – known as a Reasoned Opinion – deals with the country’s continued failure to ensure compliance with the standards set in the Directive.

For the 1998 bathing season, Finland’s compliance rate for coastal waters under the Directive was 84% for mandatory values and 69.1% for guide values. For fresh waters, the compliance rate was 83.2% for mandatory values and 77.3% for guide values.

The initial results for the 1999 bathing season show that problems remain. The Reasoned Opinion also deals with Finland’s insufficient sampling of bathing waters.

Denmark

For the 1998 bathing season 94.3% of coastal waters complied with the mandatory values and 85.6% complied with the guide values.

For fresh waters, 90.3% complied with the mandatory values and 77.9% complied with the guide values in 1998. The Reasoned Opinion also deals with Denmark’s failure to ensure that bathing waters are sufficiently sampled.

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