The European Commission is referring Germany to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to take stronger measures to combat water pollution caused by nitrates. Nitrates are essential for plants to grow and they are widely used as fertilisers. However, excess levels cause severe water pollution, with consequences for people's health, the economy and the environment. Today's decision follows a reasoned opinion sent to the German authorities in July 2014.
The latest figures submitted by Germany in 2012 and several recent reports from the German authorities show worsening nitrate pollution in groundwater and surface waters, including the Baltic Sea.
Despite these trends, Germany has not taken sufficient additional measures to effectively address nitrates pollution and revise its relevant legislation to comply with the EU rules on nitrates (Council Directive 91/676/EEC). Since the Commission considers that the water pollution by nitrates is also not sufficiently addressed in the framework of the ongoing revision of the national action programme, it has decided to refer Germany to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Thursday April 28, 2016/ EC/ European Union.