The European water industry body EurEau, which represents drinking and waste water services in 27 EU countries, is concerned about the potential impact TTIP might have on EU’s hazard-based approach to chemicals regulation, which is underpinned by the precautionary principle.
“While the precautionary principle allows EU authorities to regulate a chemical substance even in the case of scientific uncertainty, in the US system scientific evidence of harmful effects is needed before a substance can be regulated,” EurEau said according to ENDS.
Since legislation in the EU is more “progressive” than in the US, which considers economic issues and accepts a higher degree of risk regarding potentially harmful chemicals, EurEau believes that current rules must be preserved under TTIP, where chemicals can be restricted or banned, including the ones in American products.
– We share the concerns raised by EurEau and urge EU decision makers to exclude all parts in TTIP that might render REACH ineffective, says Frida Hök, ChemSec policy advisor.
Chemicals regulation within TTIP has turned out to be difficult issue, since current legislation in the EU and US do not align. EurEau also noted that according to EU negotiators the US are not willing to change their regulation and adapt it to Europe’s.
The European Commission has pledged not to agree to any changes under TTIP that will jeopardize EU environmental standards.