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France taken to court by Commission over water pollution

(Xinhua)

08:42, February 28, 2012

BRUSSELS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Monday took France to the European Court of Justice for its failure to effectively address water pollution by nitrates as required in a European Union (EU) directive.

According to the 1991 nitrates directive, EU member states must designate areas vulnerable to pollution from nitrates and reduce the areas through various measures.

France, however, has not designated which zones are vulnerable to nitrate pollution or adopted necessary measures to reduce pollution, the commission, the EU's executive arm, said here on Monday.

Water quality data also revealed some un-designated areas in France were in fact vulnerable to pollution by nitrates, it added.

Nitrates are essential for plants to grow and thus widely used as fertilizers, but excess levels will cause water pollution.

Monday's decision was part of the nearly 200 decisions from the commission to act against member states for not abiding by EU legislation.

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