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The European Commission has submitted Hungary to the Court of the European Union

According to the directive, Member States must ensure that urban agglomerations properly collect and treat wastewater, thus eliminating or reducing all its adverse effects.

In justifying its decision, the European Commission noted that the European Green Agreement sets a depollution target for the European Union and its member states.

Full implementation of the rules laid down in EU legislation is important for effective protection of human health and the natural environment. Untreated wastewater can contain harmful bacterial and viral contaminants, posing a risk to human health. In addition, it contains a number of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, that can damage fresh water and the marine environment by causing excessive algae formation, and suffocating other life forms: this is called eutrophication.

According to their information, 22 groups in Hungary still do not comply with the directive, because it does not provide for all its residents a municipal sewage collection system or an alternative that provides the same level of environmental protection. In the absence of collection, wastewater cannot be treated as required by EU law. In addition, Hungary does not offer a more comprehensive treatment for five other clusters, they said.

The European Commission sent a formal notification letter to the relevant Hungarian authorities in February 2017, followed by a reasoned opinion in December 2017.

Although the Hungarian authorities cooperated closely with the Commission, based on the low rate of contact with existing collection systems and the high rate of use of individual systems or other appropriate measures, the Brussels Panel concluded that the Hungarian authorities did not demonstrate compliance with the above. conglomerates.

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In addition to Hungary, the European Commission is pursuing infringement actions against Greece, Belgium, Spain and France for inadequate urban wastewater treatment.

Cover image source: Michele Spatari / NurPhoto via Getty Images