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Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the CouncilShow full title

Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration

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Part AU.K.Guidelines for the establishment of threshold values by Member States in accordance with Article 3

Member States will establish threshold values for all pollutants and indicators of pollution which, pursuant to the characterisation performed in accordance with Article 5 of Directive 2000/60/EC, characterise bodies or groups of bodies of groundwater as being at risk of failing to achieve good groundwater chemical status.

Threshold values will be established in such a way that, should the monitoring results at a representative monitoring point exceed the thresholds, this will indicate a risk that one or more of the conditions for good groundwater chemical status referred to in Article 4(2)(c)(ii), (iii) and (iv) are not being met.

When establishing threshold values, Member States will consider the following guidelines:

1)

the determination of threshold values should be based on:

(a)

the extent of interactions between groundwater and associated aquatic and dependent terrestrial ecosystems;

(b)

the interference with actual or potential legitimate uses or functions of groundwater;

(c)

all pollutants which characterise bodies of groundwater as being at risk, taking into account the minimum list set out in part B;

(d)

hydro-geological characteristics including information on background levels and water balance;

2)

the determination of threshold values should also take account of the origins of the pollutants, their possible natural occurrence, their toxicology and dispersion tendency, their persistence and their bioaccumulation potential;

3)

[F1wherever elevated background levels of substances or ions or their indicators occur due to natural hydro-geological reasons, those background levels in the relevant body of groundwater shall be taken into account when establishing threshold values. When determining background levels, the following principles should be taken into account:

(a)

The determination of background levels should be based on the characterisation of groundwater bodies in accordance with Annex II to Directive 2000/60/EC and on the results of groundwater monitoring in accordance with Annex V to that Directive. The monitoring strategy and interpretation of the data should take account of the fact that flow conditions and groundwater chemistry vary laterally and vertically;

(b)

Where only limited groundwater monitoring data are available, more data should be gathered and in the meantime background levels should be determined based on those limited monitoring data, where appropriate by a simplified approach using a subset of samples for which indicators show no influence of human activity. Information on geochemical transfers and processes should also be taken account of, where available;

(c)

Where insufficient groundwater monitoring data are available and the information on geochemical transfers and processes is poor, more data and information should be gathered and in the meantime background levels should be estimated, where appropriate based on statistical reference results for the same type of aquifers in other areas having sufficient monitoring data.]

4)

the determination of threshold values should be supported by a control mechanism for the data collected, based on an evaluation of data quality, analytical considerations, and background levels for substances which may occur both naturally and as a result of human activities.

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