On 10 April 2024 the plenary assembly of the European Parliament adopted the results of the negotiations reached with the European Council in January 2024 on revising the EU’s water management and urban wastewater treatment standards. The Council needs to formally approve the agreement before it can enter into force. The new legislation will greatly impact the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors, as a result of the introduction of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) for medicinal products for human use and cosmetic products. EPR is intended to cover the costs of quaternary treatment needed to remove micro-pollutants from urban wastewater. At least 80% of the costs will be covered by producers, complemented by national financing.

According to the approved schedule, by 2035 urban wastewater will undergo secondary treatment to remove biodegradable organic matter in all agglomerations of the size of 1,000 population equivalent or more. By 2039, tertiary treatment (i.e. the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus) will be applied in all wastewater treatment plants covering 150,000 p.e. and above, and by 2045 in those covering 10.000 p.e. and above. Quaternary treatment to remove a broad spectrum of micro-pollutants will be mandatory for all plants over 150,000 p.e. by 2045. Monitoring of various public health parameters (such as known viruses and emerging pathogens), chemical pollutants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), microplastics and antimicrobial resistance is also included in the new legislation.

Source: European Parliament


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here