Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th September 2014.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Conservative, Basingstoke

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to institute infraction proceedings where Water Framework Directive river quality standards are not met.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

It is for the European Commission, in its role as guardian of the Treaties, to oversee the application of European Union law and institute infraction proceedings where it considers such action appropriate.

The standards which apply under the Water Framework Directive are set out in Directions from the Secretary of State to the Environment Agency. These standards are used by the Environment Agency in drawing up objectives for all water bodies in river basin management plans. These plans are then approved by the Secretary of State. All public bodies have a duty to have regard to these plans and the Environment Agency must exercise its functions to achieve the plans’ objectives.

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