ZeroPM Regulatory Watch

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 February 8, 2024.

Provisional agreement on the revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive includes Extended Producer Responsibility scheme and PFAS monitoring

The European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the revision of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive on 29 January 2024. According to the Council press release, the provisional agreement extends the obligation to set up urban wastewater treatment facilities applying secondary treatment (i.e. the removal of biodegradable organic matter) to agglomerations of 1 000 population equivalent (p.e.) or more by 2035. By 2039 and 2045 respectively, Member states will also have to ensure the application of tertiary and quaternary treatment in larger facilities of 150 000 p.e. and above, and for smaller agglomerations of 10 000 p.e. and above by 2045. The provisional agreement establishes an extended producer responsibility scheme in which producers of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics would contribute a minimum of 80% of the costs of quaternary treatment. The agreement leaves flexibility to Member States on how to allocate the remaining costs. In addition, according to ENDS Europe, the agreement introduces monitoring requirements for chemical pollutants, including PFAS, as well as for microplastics and pathogens.

The text of the provisional agreement is not yet publicly available. Further details on final provisions will be added to the excel sheet when the text is available.

European Parliament’s ENVI Committee proposes generic prohibition of PMT/vPvM and prohibition of PFAS in toys

The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee provided its opinion on the proposal for a Toy Safety Regulation on 26 January 2024. The ENVI Committee proposes to extend the list of generic prohibitions in toys – which, in the Commission proposal, covered CMR 1A, 1B or 2, endocrine disruptors category 1 or 2, specific target organ toxicity category 1 (single and repeated exposure) and respiratory sensitisers category 1 – to other groups of substances including: PBT, vPvB, PMT, vPvM, and skin sensitizers category 1. ENVI Committee’s amendments further propose to prohibit the use of PFAS and bisphenols in toys, components of toys or micro-structurally distinct parts of toys.

The Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), which is the leading committee on this file, is expected to adopt its consolidated report in February and the plenary vote is planned for March 2024.

Substance evaluation concludes Benzotriazole fulfills PMT / vPvM criteria

On completion of the substance evaluation for Benzotriazole (BTA, EC No. 202-394-1, CAS RN 95-14-7), which was included in the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) in 2016, the evaluating Member State (Germany) concluded that BTA fulfills the criteria for classification as PMT, vPvM, and endocrine disruption for the environment category 1. A dossier for harmonised classification will be prepared in 2024. The evaluating Member State also concluded that ‘the ED properties for the environment and the PMT/vPvM status on their own could already be sufficient to identify BTA as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) according to REACH Article 57(f)’, although it would require an additional assessment of the “equivalent level of concern” to SVHCs. The evaluating Member State considers that authorisation would be a more appropriate risk management measure than a restriction. An SVHC dossier should be prepared after the dossier for harmonised classification.

Upcoming consultation deadlines:

  • Deadline to provide feedback on the draft Delegated Regulation providing technical specifications for risk management plans on wastewater reuse in agriculture: 8 February 2024. This Delegated Regulation complements Regulation 2020/741 on minimum requirements for water reuse, which requires that the production and supply of reclaimed water is subject to a permit based on a risk management plan. This Delegated Regulation sets out technical specifications for the key elements of these risk management plans.
  • Deadline to provide feedback on the draft Regulation establishing a common data platform on chemicals: 28 March 2024
  • Deadline to provide feedback on the draft Regulation on the re-attribution of scientific and technical tasks and improving cooperation among Union agencies in the area of chemicals: 28 March 2024
  • Deadline to provide feedback on the draft Directive on the re-attribution of scientific and technical tasks to the European Chemicals Agency: 28 March 2024

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 2024-02-08.

ZeroPM Regulatory Watch Year in Review

Need a recap of all the updates on EU policy initiatives contributing to the prevention, prioritisation and removal of persistent and mobile substances in 2023? We have compiled the biggest updates in 2023, as well as a list of issues we are looking towards in 2024 in the following document (based on Deliverable 3.1).

Please see also our video explaining the ZeroPM regulatory watch!