The report of the Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament on the new rules for the collection, treatment and discharge of urban wastewater was approved on 20 September 2023 (60 votes in favour, 10 against and 6 abstentions).

Among the main concepts highlighted by the report is the importance of reusing treated wastewater from all urban wastewater treatment plants, especially in water-stressed areas, as well as in industrial processes and district and cooling systems. MEPs voted in favour of a improved monitoring of various elements at the inlets and outlets of urban wastewater treatment plants, as well as that of various public health parameters (i.e. viruses, bacteria, antimicrobial resistance, etc).

The ENVI Committee supports a system of extended producer responsibility (EPR) targeting medicinal products for human use and cosmetic products, deemed to be the main sources of micro-pollutants in urban wastewater. According to the report, EPR schemes may be complemented by up to 20% national financing for the upgrade of urban wastewater treatment plants in order to avoid unintended consequences on the availability, affordability and accessibility of vital products, in particular medicines.

Source: European Parliament