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Article 6Measures to prevent or limit inputs of pollutants into groundwater

1.In order to achieve the objective of preventing or limiting inputs of pollutants into groundwater, established in accordance with Article 4(1)(b)(i) of Directive 2000/60/EC, Member States shall ensure that the programme of measures established in accordance with Article 11 of that Directive includes:

(a)

all measures necessary to prevent inputs into groundwater of any hazardous substances, without prejudice to paragraphs 2 and 3. In identifying such substances, Member States shall in particular take account of hazardous substances belonging to the families or groups of pollutants referred to in points 1 to 6 of Annex VIII to Directive 2000/60/EC, as well as of substances belonging to the families or groups of pollutants referred to in points 7 to 9 of that Annex, where these are considered to be hazardous;

(b)

for pollutants listed in Annex VIII to Directive 2000/60/EC which are not considered hazardous, and any other non-hazardous pollutants not listed in that Annex considered by Member States to present an existing or potential risk of pollution, all measures necessary to limit inputs into groundwater so as to ensure that such inputs do not cause deterioration or significant and sustained upward trends in the concentrations of pollutants in groundwater. Such measures shall take account, at least, of established best practice, including the Best Environmental Practice and Best Available Techniques specified in the relevant Community legislation.

For the purpose of establishing measures referred to in points (a) or (b), Member States may, as a first step, identify the circumstances under which the pollutants listed in Annex VIII to Directive 2000/60/EC, in particular essential metals and their compounds referred to in point 7 of that Annex, are to be considered hazardous or non-hazardous.

2.Inputs of pollutants from diffuse sources of pollution having an impact on the groundwater chemical status shall be taken into account whenever technically possible.

3.Without prejudice to any more stringent requirements in other Community legislation, Member States may exempt from the measures required by paragraph 1 inputs of pollutants that are:

(a)

the result of direct discharges authorised in accordance with Article 11(3)(j) of Directive 2000/60/EC;

(b)

considered by the competent authorities to be of a quantity and concentration so small as to obviate any present or future danger of deterioration in the quality of the receiving groundwater;

(c)

the consequences of accidents or exceptional circumstances of natural cause that could not reasonably have been foreseen, avoided or mitigated;

(d)

the result of artificial recharge or augmentation of bodies of groundwater authorised in accordance with Article 11(3)(f) of Directive 2000/60/EC;

(e)

in the view of the competent authorities incapable, for technical reasons, of being prevented or limited without using:

(i)

measures that would increase risks to human health or to the quality of the environment as a whole; or

(ii)

disproportionately costly measures to remove quantities of pollutants from, or otherwise control their percolation in, contaminated ground or subsoil; or

(f)

the result of interventions in surface waters for the purposes, amongst others, of mitigating the effects of floods and droughts, and for the management of waters and waterways, including at international level. Such activities, including cutting, dredging, relocation and deposition of sediments in surface water, shall be conducted in accordance with general binding rules, and, where applicable, with permits and authorisations issued on the basis of such rules, developed by the Member States for that purpose, provided that such inputs do not compromise the achievement of the environmental objectives established for the water bodies concerned in accordance with Article 4(1)(b) of Directive 2000/60/EC.

The exemptions provided for in points (a) to (f) may be used only where the Member States' competent authorities have established that efficient monitoring of the bodies of groundwater concerned, in accordance with point 2.4.2 of Annex V to Directive 2000/60/EC, or other appropriate monitoring, is being carried out.

4.The competent authorities of the Member States shall keep an inventory of the exemptions referred to in paragraph 3 for the purpose of notification, upon request, to the Commission.