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Cyprus in trouble over waste water treatment

Waste water pollution in Larnaca salt lake could affect future flamingo arrivals (CM archives)

The European Commission on Monday decided to send a letter of formal notice to Cyprus over its inadequate collection and treatment of waste water.

The Commission called on Cyprus, and Bulgaria, to ensure that urban waste water is adequately collected and treated in 41 and 96 agglomerations respectively, on their territory.

Under EU law (Directive 91/271/EEC), towns and cities are required to put in place the necessary infrastructure in order to collect and treat their urban waste water.

Untreated waste water can put human health at risk and pollute lakes, rivers, soil, and coastal and groundwater.

To date, given that both Bulgaria and Cyprus do not properly apply several key provisions of the urban waste water treatment rules, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice.

The infringement procedure starts with a letter of formal notice, by which the Commission allows the member state to present its views regarding the breach observed.

If no reply is received, or if the observations presented by the member in reply to that notice cannot be considered satisfactory, the Commission will move to the next stage of the infringement procedure, which is the reasoned opinion; if necessary, the Commission will then refer the case to the Court of Justice.

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