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Environmental Quality Standards

Article 16 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC) requires the European Commission to identify priority substances among those presenting significant risk to or via the aquatic environment, and to set EU Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs) for those substances in water, sediment and/or biota.

In 2001 a first list of 33 priority substances was adopted (Decision 2455/2001) and in 2008 the EQSs for those substances were established (Directive 2008/105/EC or EQS Directive, EQSD). The WFD Article 16 requires the Commission to review periodically the list of priority substances.

Source: Scientific Committee on Health and Environment


  • EQS