Our monthly update on the roll out of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability as it relates to persistent and mobile substances.
SEAC final opinion supports proposed restriction on PFAS in firefighting foams
SEAC adopted in June its final opinion supporting a gradual ban on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. SEAC considered the proposed restriction as the ‘most appropriate EU-wide measure to address the identified risks’. The Committee recommended reviewing at the end of the transitional period available alternatives for uses at industrial sites that produce, treat or store dangerous substances, covered by the Seveso Directive, and offshore oil and gas platforms. It also recommended longer transitional periods (10 years instead of five) for offshore oil and gas installations and shipping. ECHA will prepare the combined opinion of both committees and send it to the Commission, which will decide whether to draft a restriction proposal under Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation.
Proposal for Soil Monitoring Law requires identification and remediation of contaminated sites
On 5 July, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience, which addresses soil contamination. The proposed Directive requires Member States to identify potentially contaminated sites within seven years of the entry into force of the Directive, investigate those sites to confirm the presence of contamination, and to set up a register of contaminated sites and potentially contaminated sites within four years. The Directive also requires Member States to carry out site-specific risk assessment to determine whether the contaminated sites pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment and, in such cases, to take appropriate risk reduction and remediation measures. The determination of what constitutes an unacceptable risk for human health and the environment is however left to each Member State. The timeframe and prioritisation of soil investigations is also left to Member States and no timeframe for remediation (other than the general objective of achieving healthy soils by 2050) is set by the Directive. The Commission proposal will soon be put to consultation on Have your Say.
Council adopts its position on the revision of the CLP Regulation
The Council adopted its position on the revision of the CLP Regulation on 30 June 2023. The position clarified certain labelling requirements including for online sale and clarified rules for digital labelling. Echoing concerns already expressed by the Parliament, it removed provisions on chemical substances with more than one constituent (MOCS) and requests the Commission to present a report on applicable rules for the classification of these substances four years after the date of entry into force of the revised CLP Regulation. Regarding the new hazard classes, the Council amended the provisions to avoid duplication of assessments carried out under different legislation (REACH, PPPR, BPR).
European Parliament’s ENVI Committee adds PMT/vPvM to ‘priority hazardous substances’ in WFD and backs EQS and groundwater quality standards for Total PFAS
The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee adopted its position on the revision of the Water Framework Directive, the Environmental Quality Standards Directive and the Groundwater Directive on 27 June 2023. The Committee adopted the main proposals from the Rapporteur: introducing an EQS and groundwater quality standard for Total PFAS by 2026 (in addition to the Sum of 24 PFAS proposed by the Commission), introducing extended producer responsibility for producers placing on the EU market products containing priority substances and substances included in the ‘watch lists’ to cover the costs of water monitoring programmes; removing the maximum number of substances that can be placed on the watch lists proposed by the Commission (5 substances in ground water and 10 in surface water) and reinstating the deadline to phase-out emissions of priority hazardous substances within 20 years of their designation. In addition, the ENVI Committee added PMT/vPvM to the definition of ‘Priority hazardous substances’ in the Water Framework Directive. It adopted a requirement that threshold values applicable to groundwater should normally be 10-times lower than the corresponding threshold values for surface waters and introduced reduced groundwater quality standard for pharmaceuticals and pesticides. The Committee report also introduced a reduced EQS for atrazine in surface waters and an EQS for Total pharmaceutical active substances. The text will be voted by the European Parliament in plenary session in September.
REACH revision not published before the summer, Commission sticks to announced time frame (Q4 2023)
In a debate with the European Parliament Environment Committee on 27 June, Kristin Schreiber, director at DG GROW, confirmed that the Commission proposal for the revision of the REACH would not be published before the summer and that the Commission is working to ensure that the proposal is published as announced in the last quarter of 2023.
Upcoming consultation deadlines:
- deadline to contribute to the call for evidence on 1,4-dioxane as well as substances and mixtures containing 1,4-dioxane as a constituent or an impurity: 20 July 2023.
- Deadline to contribute to the call for evidence and the open public consultation on the impact assessment to ensure that hazardous chemicals banned or severely restricted in the EU are not produced for export: 31 July 2023.
- Deadline to reply to the open public consultation for the fitness check of the application of the polluter-pay principle: 4 August 2023.
- Deadline to provide feedback on the revision of the general pharmaceutical legislation: 30 August 2023.
- Deadline to provide feedback on the PFAS restriction: 25 September 2023
Gantt Chart and Detailed Spreadsheet and more info of upcoming actions related to persistent and mobile substances
For more information of regulations under the regulatory watch, as well as a Gantt Chart of the roll out, continuously updated spreadsheet and more information, please visit https://zeropm.eu/regulatory-watch/