[JURIST] The European Commission has filed suit [WDR report, in German] against Germany alleging that the country violated the 1991 Directive [text] concerning nitrate levels in water. The EU argues that Germany flouted the directive by failing to reduce levels of nitrate in ground water “despite being obligated to address the issue by 2012,” and some levels are higher today than they were even four years ago particularly in Berlin. If the EU is successful, Germany could have to pay fines up to six figures.
Water rights have been a major concern over the last year, particularly water contamination. In March Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan was served with a class action lawsuit [JURIST report] over the water contamination in Flint, Michigan. In February BP supervisors were found not guilty [JURIST report] of a Clean Water Act violation after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Also in February the US Supreme Court blocked [JURIST report] the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In December a federal appeals court preserved [JURIST report] the EPA’s Mercury regulations that limit mercury and other hazardous pollutants from coal-fired power plants. In October the Sixth Circuit temporarily stayed the EPA’s new Clean Water Rule [JURIST report] for the Clean Water Act.