27 January 2011

The European Commission is referring Greece to the European Court of Justice for its failure to protect Lake Koroneia, an internationally important wetland in the region of Thessaloniki.  There are a number of legal challenges against pollution of lakes and waterways, some meeting vicious resistance from the authorities.  While some countries (e.g. Finland) are calling on their political leaders to apply their minds to balancing conservation of resources, particularly water, with economic development, others are fighting attempts to reduce restrictions on fertilizer use.

The debate on P-removal from detergents is taking a new turn as efforts are now being made in Utah to repeal the removal from dishwasher formulations (see elsewhere on this blog). It is being argued, correctly, that wastewater treatment plants can remove phosphorus. What is not argued is (a) whether they can remove enough to offset environmental problems and (b) whether the removal of P in detergents would not make the work of the treatment plant a lot easier.  Narrow-minded, ill-informed responses to consumer issues are not what the politicians should be supporting!

Toxic algae advisories have been issued for Lake Eppalock (Australia), St Mary Lake (Canada) and a debate, as a form of public education, is being opened around the impacts of phosphorus levels in Lake Menomin/Tainter (Wisconsin, USA).

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