Central Dredging Association

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WFD implementation: Update

Jan Brooke, Chair of the Water Frameword Directive Navigation Task Group attended the WFD Strategic Coordination Group* meeting in May 2014. Her detailed notes can be downloaded below. Key issues identified for the navigation and dredging sectors are:

  • an oral hearing on the German water services case was held in March; the opinion of the Advocate General is expected on 22nd May with a Court decision before the end of the year. Several other Member States have intervened in support of Germany. The other bad application cases relating to water services are all at reasoned opinion stage awaiting the outcome of the case against Germany
  • a German court has concluded (in relation to a proposed capital dredge on the Weser) that deterioration in WFD terms includes deterioration within a status class. Germany disagrees and is seeking a pre-ruling from the ECJ. The position of both Germany and COM is in line with my own understanding i.e. that deterioration in WFD terms is characterised by a non-temporary deterioration, between status classes, affecting one or more elements, at water body level (see detailed, separate note below)
  • several Member States are now expressing concern about the fragmented way in which hydromorphological issues are being handled under the WFD CIS process
  • a workshop will be held in December 2014 to explore coordinated implementation and synergies between the WFD, MSFD and Nature Directives
  • there was protracted discussion on the proposed WFD reporting schema. Many Member States expressed concern about the complexity of reporting as proposed; the burden it will place on those reporting; the inclusion of data going beyond the requirements of the Directive; late requests and/or new content; etc. COM responded that this is guidance and to a certain extent Member States can select what they report
  • following the comments we made at the recent Programmes of Measures WG meeting, the ‘sediment' Key Type of Measure (KTM) has now been clarified to: ‘Measures to reduce sediment from soil erosion and surface run-off'
  • the intercalibration process for GEP is now reaching the stage where practical input is needed (i.e. to ensure that site-specific issues are understood when determining whether an impact might be expected to be significant and which mitigation measures are relevant to a particular situation)
  • there is still much confusion over the definition of e-flows; including whether and how to apply the e-flows concept to HMWBs and how to take exemptions into account.

*  Set up in 2003, the Water Framework Directive Navigation Task Group comprises a ‘thematic cluster' of 14 organisations. The following organisations participate in the Group's activities, between them representing a wide variety of commercial and recreational, maritime and inland navigation interests: Central Dredging Association (CEDA), European Barge Union (EBU), European Boating Association (EBA), European Boating Industry, European Community Ship-owners Association (ECSA, European Dredging Association (EuDA), European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), European Seaports Organisation (ESPO), International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), International Navigation Association (PIANC) and Inland Navigation Europe (INE).

WFD TG is hosted and chaired by PIANC (Jan Brooke).