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Environmental Objectives- Article 4.7
8-9 May 2006
European Commission, DG Environment
Unit D.2 – Water and Marine, WFD Team
• Paper on environmental objectives endorsed by the
Water Directors in June 2005
• Agreement by the Water Directors in December
2006 to start a new activity on WFD Article 4.7, then
to continue with other exemptions cases
• Ongoing work on 4.7 (DG meeting on 24 March and
Key messages from the
environmental objectives paper (1)
• Socio-economic considerations should be taken into
account in exemptions and CEA, not when defining
status class boundaries
• Exemptions are integral part of objectives/planning
and should be used to prioritise actions in river
basins and programmes of measures
• Exemptions could be applied in a stepwise approach
Objective of good status by 2015
Can good status be achieved by 2015?
Key messages (2)
Except for those dependent on the timescale of
natural processes, can the improvements Objective of good status as soon as
necessary to enable good status to be achieved natural conditions permit after 2015
be made by 2015?
Objective of good status by 2021 or
Can good status be achieved before 2021 or can all
as soon as natural conditions permit
the necessary improvements be made by 2021
except for those dependent on natural processes?
Can good status be achieved before 2027 or can Objective of good status by 2027 or
all the necessary improvements be made by 2027 as soon as natural conditions permit
except for those dependent on natural processes? after 2027
Set a less stringent objective Less stringent objective by 2015
Can we move closer to, or
Review less stringent Good status or new less
achieve, good status before 2021?
objective by 2015 stringent objective by 2021
Maintain previous less
stringent objective for 2021
If a less stringent objective was Yes
Can we move closer to, or achieve, Good status or new less
set in previous plan, review again
good status before 2027? stringent objective by 2027
Gilles CROSNIER Maintain previous less
stringent objective for 2027
Key messages from the env. objectives paper (2)
• “less stringent objective” represents the nearest quality one
can get to “good status”
• A harmonised, comparable and transparent approach for the
application of the exemptions and the CEA should be carried
out within RBD
• The appropriate scale of application of assessments may be
different for different issues
Key messages from the env. objectives paper (3)
• Step 1 (2004-2006): EU harmonisation of criteria for status
• Step 2 (2005-2009): Evaluation of the most cost-effective
measures and public consultation
• Step 3 (2007 onwards): monitoring of water quality
• Step 4 (2008-2009): set objectives including, if necessary
and appropriate, application of exemptions following public
Article 4.7- key concepts
• Overriding public interest
• Comparing costs and benefits
• Alternative solutions
Article 4.7- key questions (1)
• Timing of application?
• What kind of modifications, alterations and activities are
• What is considered as a deterioration of status and potential?
• Does it apply to temporary effects?
• Does it apply to small-size projects?
• Does it apply to plans and programmes?
Article 4.7- key questions (2)
• How are the effects on the water body’s status assessed?
• What are new sustainable human development activities?
• Can 4.7 be applied to all the WB affected by a new
• Can 4.7 be applied to protected areas?
Article 4.7- links with RBMP
• Baseline for 4.7
• Reporting the use of 4.7 exemptions in the RBMP
• 4.7 and the designation of HMWB