How do chemicals affect our water?
Over the next three years, NGI will lead projects related to the REACH legislation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of CHemicals). One of the main purposes is to identify the effects of chemicals on raw water, and to assess the risks, in order to make new guidelines for handling chemicals. Raw water is natural untreated water found in the environment which is transformed into drinking water. Raw water includes rainwater, groundwater and water from lakes and rivers.
It is a first for NGI to be involved in a major European Union (EU) regulation of environmental contamination. The project is funded by Umweltbundesamt, the German environment agency, and is a collaboration between NGI, Umweltbundesamt and consultants Denkbares GmbH.
REACH is an EU approved regulation for chemicals, which aims to reduce the risk and improve protection against the use of chemical agents, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemical industry at the same time. So far, REACH does not have adequate criteria for evaluation of the potential risks a chemical can pose to raw water. One of the main goals for NGI is to define these criteria.
NGI will continue the work done by Umweltbundesamt. One important aspect will be to model the physical-chemical effects of chemical substances on the environment. Another aim will be to boost understanding of the role of REACH as an EU regulation.
NGI plans to organize workshops for representatives of European REACH-registered chemical companies, providers of drinking water, water research institutes, government environment agencies and ECHA (European CHemicals Agency). The overall aim is to produce a full list of REACH-registered chemicals that pose a threat to raw water.
The new knowledge will be of use in the work done by the Norwegian Environment Agency.
The European Chemicals REACH regulation (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals) is an EU wide regulation. These rules apply in Norway through the EEA Agreement and implemented of REACH. https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2008-05-30-516 (In Norwegian only)
Read more about REACH on the Norwegian Environment Agency's website: http://www.miljodirektoratet.no/no/Tema/Kjemikalier/Kjemikalieregelverk/Kjemikalieregelverket_REACH/ (In Norwegian only)
Read more about ECHA (European chemicals agency) https://echa.europa.eu/home