The European Parliament voted today to set concentration limits for 33 substances including pesticides and heavy metals in rivers, lakes and coastal waters. EU governments, which had already given their approval, will have until 2018 to meet the standards.
``With less pollution, water companies will have to do less treatment to meet drinking-water requirements,'' Barbara Helfferich, environment spokeswoman for the European Commission, the EU's regulatory arm that proposed the law, said after the Parliament gave its final backing in Strasbourg, France. ``It's not only a health issue. It's a cost factor, too.''
The EU endorsed laws two years ago to control chemicals in ground water and to force manufacturers such as BASF SE and importers to provide more safety information on substances in Europe's $800 billion chemicals market.
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