22. ACTION PROGRAMME FOR INTEGRATED GROUNDWATER PROTECTION
AND MANAGEMENT (9967/96)
Letter from Baroness Hilton of Eggardon, QPM, Chairman
of Sub-Committee C, to James Clappison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary
of State, Department of the Environment
9967/96 COM (96) 315 Final Commission proposal for
a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on an
action programme for integrated groundwater protection and management.
This proposal was considered by Sub-Committee C at its meeting
on 11 December 1996.
Although we have cleared the document, we share the Government's
concern, as expressed in your Explanatory Memorandum, about the
legal basis of the proposal and the apparent inconsistency with
other Community water policy initiatives. In this we are of the
same view as the House of Commons European Legislation Committee
(1st Report 1996-97, item 9, p xxxviii) and, like them, would
be interested to see the Commission's explanation of how the
groundwater proposal fits in with the proposed Framework Directive
on Water Resources.
Recent concerns expressed, for instance by the RSPB, about
the effect of boreholes on wetlands have underlined the importance
of groundwater conservation. We shall wish to return to the issue
in the context of the draft Framework Directive when it comes
to us for scrutiny.
19 December 1996