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Parliamentary questions
26 May 2017
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission

The Commission is aware that certain pharmaceuticals may count among the ‘emerging pollutants’ on which attention is increasingly being focused in the aquatic environment.

In 2015, six pharmaceutical substances were included in the first watch list(1) of substances to be monitored by Member States temporarily in surface waters to determine whether they pose a risk to the environment or to human health via the environment, and thus whether their concentrations in surface waters need to be controlled under the Water Framework Directive(2).

The results from the first year of monitoring are being analysed. Furthermore, data have also been gathered by Member States on the concentrations of pharmaceuticals in groundwater in the context of the establishment of a voluntary watch list under the Groundwater Directive(3).

In addition, the Commission is supporting a study on the risks from pharmaceuticals in the environment to inform the development of its strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment. Adoption of the approach will be followed, as appropriate, by proposals for measures. The Commission recently published a roadmap(4) for the initiative, on which feedback may be given.

(1)Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/495, OJ L 78, 24.3.2015, p.40
(2)Directive 2000/60/EC, OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p.1
(3)Directive 2006/118/EC, OJ L 372, 27.12.2006, p.19

Last updated: 30 May 2017Legal notice