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EU says zero air and water pollution by 2050 is the goal

EU says zero air and water pollution by 2050 is the goal

Brussels: The European Union said it is planning to bring air and water pollution down to zero by 2050 by imposing tougher rules. Those who are affected by pollution will be offered compensation, said commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

VP Frans Timmermans added that the longer governments wait to reduce pollution, the higher it costs society. "By 2050, we want our environment to be free of harmful pollutants. Our proposals to further reduce water and air pollution are a crucial piece of that puzzle," reported AFP.

The plan for transition appears to involve a revision of EU legislation, the Ambient Air Quality Directives, and the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. The 27-nation body is planning to introduce regular reviews and more than half the annual limit for fine-particle pollution in the air. The goals also include making wastewater treatment more effective by recovering more nutrients from it for recycling.

The EU is also focusing on the "a polluter pays" principle to regulate toxic micropollutants in the water. This may make a difference because 92% of these pollutants are from pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Another key proposal suggests that those who suffered due to violations in air quality can make claims for compensation under class-action litigation.

Each member of the EU will be coming up with their own measures to reach the goals. The EU's environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said this will make procedures easier for local and regional authorities. The commission will reserve the right to start infringement procedures "as a last resort."

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TAGS:EUEuropean Unionair pollutionwater pollution
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