1. In order to improve the quality of the Rhine waters, the Contracting Parties will take, in accordance with the following provisions, appropriate measures to:
a. Eliminate pollution from the surface waters of the Rhine basin by
dangerous substances included in the families and groups of substances shown in Annex I (hereinafter called “Annex I substances”). They propose to achieve gradually the elimination of discharges of those substances, taking into account the results of studies made by experts concerning each one, as well as the technical means available.
b. Reduce the pollution of the Rhine waters by dangerous substances included in the families and groups of substances shown in Annex II (hereinafter called “Annex II substances”).
2. The measures referred to in paragraph 1 above shall be adopted taking into account, within reason, that the waters of the Rhine are used for the following purposes:
a. Production of drinking water for human consumption,
b. Consumption by domestic and wild animals,
c. Conservation and development of natural species, both fauna and flora, and conservation of the self-purification property of water,
e. Recreation, taking into account health and aesthetic requirements,
f. Direct or indirect supply of fresh water for agricultural lands,
g. Production of water for industrial use and the need to preserve an
acceptable quality of sea water.
3. The provisions of this Convention are but a first step to achieve the objective referred to in paragraph 1 above.
4. Annex A to the Convention specifies what the Contracting Parties
understand by the term “Rhine”for the purposes of the aforementioned
1. The Governments Parties to this Convention will have drawn up, for their own use, in accordance with the provisions of Annex III, paragraph 1, a national inventory of discharges into the surface waters of the Rhine basin that may contain Annex I substances to which emission standards are applicable.
2. The Governments will communicate to the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution (hereinafter called the “International Commission”), in accordance with the provisions of Annex III, paragraph 2, the elements of their inventory which shall be updated regularly and at least every three years.
3. The proposals of the International Commission referred to in Article 6, paragraph 3, may include, if necessary, an inventory of various Annex II substances.
1. Any discharge into the surface waters of the Rhine basin that may contain one of the Annex I substances shall be subject to prior authorization from the competent authority of the Government concerned.
2. For the discharge of those substances into the surface waters of the Rhine basin and, when necessary for purposes of implementing this
Convention, for the discharge of those substances into sewers, the authorization shall set emission standards that may not exceed the concentration limits set in accordance with Article 5.
3. As for the existing discharges of those substances, the authorization shall establish a period of time within which the conditions it lays down must be met. This period of time may not exceed the deadlines established in accordance with Article 5 (3).
4. The authorization may be granted only for a limited period of time. It may be renewed taking into account possible changes in the concentration-limits referred to in Article 5.
1. The emission standards set by the authorizations issued pursuant to Article 3 shall determine:
a. The maximum admissible concentration of a substance in discharges. When there is dilution, the concentration-limit referred to in Article 5, (2) shall be divided by the dilution factor;
b. The maximum admissible quantity of a substance in discharges during one or several given periods of time. If necessary, this maximum quantity may, furthermore, be expressed in units of weight of the pollutant per unit of the characteristic polluting element (for example, unit of weight per raw material or per processed unit).
2. If the originator of the discharge states that he is unable to comply with the emission standards imposed, or if the competent authority of the Government concerned affirms this impossibility, authorization shall be refused.
3. If the emission standards are not respected, the competent authority of the Government concerned shall take all necessary steps to see to it that the conditions of the permit are met and, if necessary, to have the discharge banned.
1. The International Commission shall propose the concentration limits referred to in Article 3 (2) and, if necessary, their application for discharges into drains. Those concentration-limits shall be set in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 14. Following their adoption, they shall be included in Annex IX.
2. These concentration-limits are defined:
a. As the maximum admissible concentration of a substance in discharges, and
b. when appropriate, as the maximum admissible quantity of such a substance expressed in unit of weight of the pollutant per unit of the characteristic polluting element (for example, unit of weight per raw material or per processed unit).
When appropriate, concentration limits applicable to industrial wastes shall be set per sector and per type of product.
The concentration limits applicable to substances under Annex I shall be determined primarily on the basis of:
Taking into account the best technical means available.
3. The International Commission shall propose to the Contracting Parties the time limits referred to in Article 3 (3) on the basis of the characteristics of the industrial sectors concerned and, where necessary, the types of products. Those limits shall be set in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 14.b
4. The International Commission shall use the data obtained at the
international measuring stations in order to evaluate to what extent the content of substances under Annex I in the waters of the Rhine varies following application of the preceding provisions.
5. The International Commission may, if necessary from the point of view of the quality of the Rhine waters, propose other measures to reduce the pollution of the Rhine, taking into particular account the toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation of the substance concerned. These proposals shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 14.
1. Any discharge of an Annex II substance which is likely to affect the quality of the waters of the Rhine shall be subject to regulation by the national authorities in order to limit it severly.
2. The Governments Parties to this Convention will endeavor to establish within two years from the entry into force of this Convention national programs for reducing the pollution of the waters of the Rhine by Annex II substances, for which the measures referred to in Article 6, (1), (4), (5), (6), and (7), shall be applied in particular.
3. The Contracting Parties will coordinate within the International
Commission prior to establishing these national programs. To this end, the International Commission shall in regular fashion make a comparison of the national program projects in order to assure the cohesiveness of the objectives and methods of those projects and to present proposals on achieving, in particular, the common objectives of reducing the pollution of the waters of the Rhine. These last proposals shall be adopted in application of the procedure referred to in Article 14 of the present Convention. The comparison of the national program projects shall not delay the implementation of national or regional measures designed to reduce the pollution of the waters of the Rhine.
4. Any discharge likely to contain one of the substances under Annex II shall be subject to prior authorization from the competent authority of the Government concerned, which authorization establishes the emission standards. These shall be determined in relation to the quality objectives referred to in paragraph 5.
5. The programs referred to in paragraph 2 above shall include the objectives regarding the quality of the waters of the Rhine.
6. The programs may likewise contain specific provisions regarding the composition and use of substances or groups of substances as well as products and take into account the latest economically feasible technical developments.
7. The programs shall establish deadlines for their implementation.
8. The programs and the results of their application shall be reported to the International Commission in summary form.
References and Further Reading
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