September 30, 2022 | EurEau welcomes the legislative proposal of the Regulation on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (SUR), enshrining the European Commission’s Zero Pollution ambition in pesticides policy to protect human health and the environment.
The legislative SUR-proposal heralds good news for water operators: water suppliers need water resources that are protected from pollution so that tap water remains safe and affordable, and the right to water is not jeopardised.
Agriculture is considered as the greatest contributor to pesticides in surface water and in groundwater used for the abstraction of drinking water, through application, runoffs or incorrect disposal. Pesticides are more and more having a negative impact on the quality of drinking water resources and drinking water operators have to increasingly resort to expensive and energy-intensive extra-treatments while water consumers bear the costs.
One step in the right direction
While the legislative proposal represents a major step in the right direction, EurEau urges the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to embrace the change and support a European food system that protects water resources.
The Commission proposal is the response to a Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD) that failed to deliver tangible results with plant protection products (PPP) continuing to put the health of people and the environment at risk.
EurEau regrets, however, that Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on placing pesticides on the EU market will not be revised, since this legislation is key to restricting harmful pesticides. It must be ensured that only those substances that have no detrimental effects on human health, the environment, and more specifically, drinking water production, are allowed for use. This is not the case today. Furthermore, more attention should be paid to the possible combination effects of substances and regrettable substitutions of substances.Complete position paper