The Water Framework Directive (WFD, Directive 2000/60/EC) requires the establishment of a regularly updated list of priority substances and a procedure for the identification of priority substances/priority hazardous substances as well as the adoption of the specific measures against pollution from these substances. The WFD has to be implemented into national legisltation by national authorities. 

The Priority substances Quality Standards was adopted in December 2008.  The Directive establishes environmental quality standards (EQS) for 33 priority substances (DCM & CFM are listed) likely to be found in rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Of these priority substances 11 have been identified as priority hazardous substances (no chlorinated solvents listed) which will be subject to cessation or phasing out of discharges, emissions and losses within an appropriate timetable that shall not exceed 20 years. 

By 2018 the Commission shall verify that emissions, discharges and losses are making progress towards compliance with the reduction or cessation objectives laid down in WFD.

ECSA will continue to contribute to a science-based and workable implementation of the WFD.

Read more about The Water Framework Directive on europa.eu
Read more about The Priority substances Quality Standards on europa.eu
See the Marine risk assessments page

 

Revision: 02/2018

DCM & the Ozone Layer

November 2017 

Dichloromethane (DCM) is a highly Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) with a short atmospheric lifetime of only 0.4 years, hence defined as a Very Short Lived Substance (VSLS), but a negligible Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). Recent publications (e.g. Hossaini et al.) discussed the effect of DCM on the stratospheric ozone, which postulated a high future growth rate of global DCM production and emissions, which led to discussions to include DCM into the Montreal Protocol on the protection of the ozone layer. ECSA and HSIA have provided factual information on global production and emissions by industry, global natural production, behaviour and effect on the stratospheric ozone, and other regulatory developments at a UNEP meeting on the Montreal Protocol in Nov 2017 (available here), based on a scientific assessment of Archie McCulloch (full paper available here; a one-pager summary is also available here).


 

TRI Authorisations granted

September 2018

Trichloroethylene (TRI) can be used safely under controlled conditions. Five authorisations have been granted to BlueCube Germany (a subsidiary of Olin) to continue to produce TRI for specific uses, for example Industrial Parts Cleaning. Customers of this producer can use TRI for these applications under the conditions set by the EU Commission and the defined risk management measures.


 

UBA PMT criteria published

February 2018

The German Environment Agency (UBA, Umweltbundesamt) has published the assessment of "Persistence, Mobility and Toxicity (PMT)" with the desire to protect drinking water sources. Applying conservative criteria for PMT as defined by UBA, perchloroethylene (PER) and trichloroethylene (TRI) appear as number 2 and 3 on the report. UBA also aims to establish PMT as an equivalent concern to identify SVHC substance for authorisation under REACH. ECSA does not consider SVHC identification using PMT criteria as the appropriate tool to improve drinking water quality due to this being a pure hazard based approach and thus does not consider risk. TRI is already listed in Annex XIV (authorisation) and today PER is handled almost exclusively in closed systems with no intentional emission to water or soil. For further information see the ECSA position paper on PER here.


 

New Study on Dichloromethane

February 2018

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for Dichloromethane (DCM). The study results have been published end of 2018. The outcome of the study shows that below the threshold there is no risk of cancer formation related to DCM.

The full paper is available here.