Double-edged reform of EC bathing water rules

The European Commission has embarked on the first major overhaul of EC water legislation with a proposal to amend the 1976 Directive on bathing water quality.1 The existing rules would be streamlined and clarified, and focussed on the parameters of public health significance. Member States would also be given considerable latitude to remedy pollution of designated waters without incurring legal sanctions from the Commission. But the revised rules would almost certainly increase the number of bathing waters failing to comply with the Directive - in particular the controversial standard for enteroviruses.

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