Industry lobbyists' bid to foul EU clean water laws

May 15, 2019, 8:07 AM EDT
(Source: Paul VanDerWerf/flickr)
(Source: Paul VanDerWerf/flickr)

A surreptitious and powerful campaign to dilute the European Union’s clean water laws is underway, as lobbyists from mining, agriculture, hydropower, and chemical industries seek to bend the directives to suit their economic interests with little empathy for the fate of the continent’s rivers, wetlands, and lakes.

In the garb of proposing an EU “fitness check” of water rules, these industries are driving an agenda aimed at weakening the “polluter pays” principle and relaxing the standards for what could be termed as “good” ecological condition of water bodies, notes The Guardian.

The exemptions being demanded by the Swedish mining company SveMin, the U.K.’s National Farmers’ Union and others could have a catastrophic impact on many aquatic species battling for survival, and the repercussions are not limited to biodiversity, warns Ariel Brunner, Birdlife Europe’s policy chief.

The industries demanding a review of the rules to make the environmental targets “realistic and achievable” are in reality, seeking a revision of the word “healthy” to accommodate “unhealthy” into it.