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EC to ban car washing

November 10th, 1993
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Myth: The EC is to ban car washing within the foreseeable future unless petrol interceptors are installed in drains.
Source: constituent’s enquiry to Mrs. C. Jackson MEP

Response: This is not the case at all. Whilst there is EC legislation protecting the “aquatic” environment, this applies exclusively to industry and not to the domestic consumer, or car washer.

Background: The Commission has put together a list of dangerous substances discharged’into the EC’s aquatic environment (Directive 76/464/EEC); included in List II of this Directive are, for example, protective films such as paraffin wax and/or acrylic products which are (generally) used to protect new cars during their storage between the production and marketing stages, the removal of which leads to more polluting substances in the collection system. Member States are requested to take the appropriate measures to reduce these causes of pollution by, notably, introducing quality objectives for the receiving water together with prior authorisation for all discharges liable to contain a List II substance.

There is also a Council Directive (91/271/EEC) concerning Urban Waste Water treatment, and this makes Member States ensure that the disposal of industrial waste water into the collection system and treatment plants is subject to regulatory measures in accordance with the provisions in Annexe 1, section C, by 31.12.1993.

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