Seite - 247 - in Freshwater Microplastics - Emerging Environmental Contaminants?
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“[w]ith regard topollutionpreventionandcontrol,Communitywaterpolicyshould be based on a combined approach using control of pollution at source through the setting of emission limit values and of environmental quality standards” [7, p. 4]. Article 10 describes the combined approach for point and diffuse sources inmore detail, “(a) the emission controls based on best available techniques, or (b) the relevant emission limit values, or (c) in the case of diffuse impacts the controls including,asappropriate,bestenvironmentalpractice” [7,p.13],andpoints, in this respect, to further relevant directives. Eventhoughthe8yearsolderWFDdoesnotexplicitlyrefer to(micro)plasticsor litter in general,Wesch et al.  argued that plastic waste is already indirectly integrated in the WFD as it currently stands. In their opinion, litter is broadly associated with relevant quality elements determining the good ecological status of freshwater systems.Consequently, the occurrenceof litter, in particular (micro) plastics,couldconsiderablyinfluencethewaterquality.Furthermore, theypointout that a good chemical status of surface waters according to theWFD is achieved when concentrations of listed chemicals (Annex X, WFD) do not exceed the environmental quality standards. InArticle 16, strategies against the pollution ofwater arementioned in such a way that “the European Parliament and theCouncil shall adopt specificmeasures against pollution of water by individual pollutants or groups of pollutants presenting a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment” [7, p. 17]. ApproachesdescribedinArticle16of theWFDresult inalistofprioritysubstances (approved in Annex X). This list registers 45 priority substances or groups of substances, several of which are applied in plastic products such as di (2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, nonylphenol, or octylphenol.As far aspriority substances are concerned, themember states are legally obligated tomonitor them.However, themeasuredtotalconcentrationofasubstanceincludesallsourcesofpollutionand cannot indicate the plastic-relatedpercentage. Furthermore, Annex VIII comprised an indicative list of the main pollutants, amongothers“persistenthydrocarbonsandpersistent andbioaccumulativeorganic toxic substances” as well as “substances and preparations, or the breakdown products of such, which have been proved to possess carcinogenic or mutagenic properties or properties whichmay affect steroidogenic, thyroid, reproduction or otherendocrine-relatedfunctions inorvia theaquaticenvironment” [7,p.68].This might include syntheticpolymersand their additives.However, (micro)plastics are not explicitly addressed in the WFD. This discrepancy should be clarified in a possible future revisionof theWFDdueby2019, andanassessment systemneeds to bedeveloped. WaterProtectionandWastewaterTreatmentDirectives Toprotect theenvironmentfromtheadverseeffectsofurbanwastewaterdischarges and discharges from certain industrial sectors, the EuropeanUrbanWasteWater TreatmentDirectivewasadoptedin1991.Itconcernsthecollection, treatment, and discharge of domestic effluent or mixture of domestic and certain industrial FreshwaterMicroplastics:Challenges forRegulation andManagement 247
Freshwater Microplastics Emerging Environmental Contaminants?