As the EU Green Deal roles out, the ZeroPM regulatory watch will announce upcoming initiatives related to persistent and mobile substances. Our most recent update was on March 5’th 2023.
REACH restriction on C9-C14 PFCAs enters into force
REACH restriction on perfluorocarboxylic acids containing 9 to 14 carbon atoms in the chain (C9-C14 PFCAs), their salts and C9-C14 PFCA-related substances (Annex XVII, entry 68), adopted in August 2021 entered into force on 25 February 2023. A proposal for listing Long-chain PFCAs their salts and related compounds in Annexes to the Stockholm Convention is also under review.
Amendment to Annex I to POPs Regulation – PFOA
An amendment to Annex I to the POPs regulation adopted on 24 February 2023 restricts the unintentional trace contaminant (UTC) limit of PFOA in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) micropowders to 0,025 milligrams per kilogram (compared to the previous limit of 1 mg/kg).
European Parliament’s ENVI Committee adopted its position on the revision of the F-gas Regulation
The ENVI Committee’s position, adopted on 1 March, increases the ambitions of the Commission legislative proposal by accelerating HFC phase down and introducing the objective a complete HFC production and consumption phase out in the EU by 2050. The Committee report adds prohibitions on the use of F-gases for sectors where it is technologically and economically feasible to switch to F-gases free alternatives, such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heat pumps and electrical switchgear.
Revision of the Groundwater Directive and EQS Directive – Draft report from European Parliament’s Rapporteur proposes quality standard for ‘PFAS total’
The European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the revision of the EQS and Groundwater Directives proposed in its draft report published on 20 February to set a two-year deadline for the Commission to establish technical guidelines regarding methods for monitoring all PFAS in ground and surface water in order to establish an EQS and a groundwater quality standard for ‘PFAS Total’ (in addition to the EQS and groundwater standard set for the sum of 24 PFAS).
The Rapporteur also proposed to reintroduce the deadline for Member States to phase out priority hazardous substances no later than 20 years after they are listed in the EQS Directive, remove the maximum numbers of new and emerging substances that can be contained in the EU watch lists for surface (10 substances) and groundwater (5 substances) at the same time, to introduce provisions to ensure faster deployment of effect-based monitoring methods to combined effects of priority substances, and to introduce an extended producer responsibility scheme for funding ground and surface water monitoring programmes. The draft report will be discussed at the end of March, with a Committee vote planned for the end of May.
European Parliament’s ENVI Committee members express strong concerns on the timing of the revision of REACH
On 1 March the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament organised an exchange of views with the Commission (DG Environment and DG GROW) on the upcoming Commission proposal for the revision of REACH. Members of the ENVI Committee expressed strong concerns about the timing of the publication of the legislative proposal as a publication in Q4 of 2023, as announced by the Commission, is likely to delay the legislative process to after the European elections in 2024. Several Committee members called for an earlier publication of the Commission proposal in June 2023 to increase health and environment protection and give the industry more legal clarity for their investment decisions. The Commission reiterated the commitment to publish the proposal within the set timeline (Q4 2023) and, if possible, before, without taking further commitment on an earlier publication. The Commission confirmed that the generic approach to risk management, the essential use concept, the inclusion of polymers, combination effects and the introduction of a mixture assessment factor, and provisions to improve implementation and enforcement of the Regulation would be part of the legislative proposal.
Upcoming consultation deadlines:
- Deadline to comment on the draft Delegated act amending Annex I to the POPs Regulation to include PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds (following inclusion in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention): 9 March 2023.
- Deadline to comment on the draft Commission Proposal revising the lists of surface and groundwater pollutants: 14 March 2023.
- Deadline to comment on the draft Commission Proposal revising the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive: 14 March 2023.
- Deadline to comment on the draft Commission Proposal revising the Ambient Air Quality Directive: 14 March 2023.
- Deadline to comment on the draft Commission Proposal for a Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste: 24 April 2023.
- Deadline to comment on the draft Commission Proposal amending the CLP Regulation: 30 March 2023.
- Deadline to comment on the call for evidence and respond to the public consultation on new product priorities under the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation: 12 May 2023
The public consultation on the PFAS restriction will start on 22 March 2023 and will be open until 22 September 2023. An online information session on the consultation will be organised by ECHA on 5 April.
Gantt Chart of upcoming actions related to persistent and mobile substances
Spreadsheet for further information
The ZeroPM regulatory watch itself is presented in this spreadsheet, which contains links for further information. This can be downloaded below.
The ZeroPM regulatory watch was last updated on 2023-03-05.
Please see also our video explaining the ZeroPM regulatory watch!