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PR(07)65: The EFTA Surveillance Authority grants Norway a derogation with strict conditions regarding the Høvringen waste water treatment plant in Trondheim

19.12.2007

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided today to grant a derogation under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive[1]concerning the discharges into the Trondheimsfjord of urban waste waters from the Høvringen treatment plant in Trondheim.

The Directive foresees that, in exceptional circumstances, when it can be demonstrated that more advanced treatment will not produce any environmental benefits, discharges of waste water into certain areas classified as “less sensitive” (such as the Trondheim fjord) may be subject to less stringent requirements than otherwise foreseen.

While acknowledging the absence of concern regarding oxygen demand or eutrophication, the Authority also took into consideration the occurrence ofheavy metals and micro‑pollutants at several locations in the receiving waters.

Therefore, the Authority granted a derogation with the following requirements:

-           the waste water shall be subject to an appropriate treatment, which shall increase the current retention of suspended solids of the incoming waste water, including heavy metals and micro-pollutants, to achieve a reduction of such suspended solids by at least 80% before discharge in the fjord, to limit the contamination of the receiving waters and therefore the environmental impact of urban waste water;

-           a complementary strategy shall be developed to reduce the load of heavy metals and micro-pollutants to the sewage system, with the aim to identify and solve at the source the problem of contamination of urban waste water, thereby reducing the amounts of contaminants in both the sewage sludge and in the discharges of the receiving waters.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Hallgrímur Ásgeirsson
Director, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 60

Ms. Claire Koeniguer
Senior Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 63

19 December 2007

[1]Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste-water treatment. 




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