Laboratories from seven EU Member States under the coordination of the Joint Research Centre and in collaboration with the Provincia di Ferrara participated in a technical on-site project during which sampling and analytical methodologies for chemical monitoring according to proposed WFD provisions have been compared. Laboratories had been invited to take samples from a river according to their standard protocols and to analyse them for PAHs, PBDE and Nonyl-, Octylphenol. It was shown that it is possible to analyse contaminants at relevant levels. Results showed also that currently only experienced laboratories can achieve the required performance, indicating the need for improvement at European level.
2.1 EU legislation for control of chemical pollutants
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC) shall provide regulation for the contamination of European water bodies through chemical pollutants. This is achieved via the Priority Substance List Decision (2455/2001/EC) and establishing of Environmental Quality Standards on European level through a Daughter Directive, currently in the process of adoption through the European Parliament and Council. For river basin specific pollutants the Water Framework Directive provisions include obligations for identification of relevant pollutants at smaller spatial scales and the derivation of appropriate limit values on national level. The Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) ensures the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration. Therefore, Member States should set-up water monitoring programs covering a wide range of possible contaminants in order to identify risks, priority issues and needs for action.
2.2 WFD Environmental Quality Standards Directive proposal
The proposal for a Directive COM(2006)398 regulating the pollution with chemical substances has been prepared by the European Commission. While still being under evaluation in the European Parliament and Council, technical discussions and preparations in the chemical monitoring activity are ongoing. The performance criteria are proposed in the draft Commission Decision.
JRC IES has been accompanying the preparation of the upcoming WFD Daughter Directive COM(2006)398 on Environmental Quality Standards EQS through chairing the workgroup on Analysis and Monitoring of Priority Substances AMPS (2003-2004), co-chairing the drafting of the CMA guidance document for surface waters within the Chemical Monitoring Activity CMA (2005-2006) and is currently co-chairing the Chemical Monitoring Activity in 2007-2009. The assessment of available methods for WFD compliance checking is among the prime objectives of the chemical monitoring activity. It is important that methodologies fulfil the requirements of the WFD chemical monitoring, e.g. by delivering concentration data of sufficient quality in order to assess compliance with the upcoming directive. Guidance on general WFD monitoring provision is available through the Guidance Document No. 7 “Monitoring under the Water Framework Directive” and for implementation of the ground water through the WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 15 “Guidance on Groundwater Monitoring”.