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Parliamentary questions
14 June 2018
E-002192/2018
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission

The agglomeration of Ponteareas in Spain was the object of an infringement procedure for failure to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC(1), launched by the Commission in 2004. It however became compliant in 2012.

Based on the latest information reported by the Spanish authorities under Article 15 of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and assessed, in 2017, by the Commission(2), the agglomeration continues to be compliant with the water collection and treatment, including nutrient removal, required under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

Additional treatments are applied where necessary to secure compliance with other EU water Directives, such as the Bathing Water Directive(3).

Under the Nature Directives (Birds(4) and Habitats(5)), Member States are required to take the necessary steps, including appropriate conservation measures, to avoid the deterioration of habitats and any significant disturbance of species protected in Natura 2000 sites. The Commission does not have at this stage elements pointing to a structural breach of the above provisions of the Nature or Water Directives by Spain.

According to the communication ‘EC law: Better results through better application’(6), the Commission gives priority to issues indicating, inter alia, a systematic failure to comply with EC law. Should information pointing to a breach of EC law become available, the Commission will consider the most appropriate course of action in light of the criteria set out in this communication.

(1)Council Directive of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste water treatment (91/271/EEC)
(2)Report on the implementation of the urban waste water treatment directive: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2017:749:FIN
(3)Directive 2006/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 concerning the management of bathing water quality and repealing Directive 76/160/EEC, OJ L 64, 4.3.2006, p. 37‐51
(4)Directive 2009/147/EC, OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p. 7‐25
(5)Council Directive 92/43/EEC, OJ L 206, 22.7.1992
(6)Communication from the Commission ‘EC law: Better results through better application’ (2017/C 18/02), OJ C 18, 19.1.2017.

Last updated: 14 June 2018Legal notice