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Reprieve for France in EU drinking water row

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Reprieve for France in EU drinking water row

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France has been given more time to clean up its act when it comes to drinking water pollution. The European Commission has suspended moves to take the country to the European Court of Justice for a second time. The French have been in trouble for failing to comply with EU directives on the amount of nitrates in drinking water abstraction points.

Tests on samples from Brittany show big improvements but more still needs to be done. France has a plan to put things right, hence the decision by Brussels to put legal action on hold. A key part of the problem is that sewage from intensive farming is used as fertilizer in the northwestern region.

Threatened with a multi-million euro fine, France must now prove to the Commission that more sustainable agricultural practices will be put in place. In the meantime, there have been assurances that drinking water in Brittany – one of France’s most popular tourist destinations – is safe.