EU Chips Act threatens water resource protection
Jan 18, 2023
The draft Chips Act (draft Regulation 2022/0032(COD)), which aims to secure the EU’s access to semi-conductors, is currently before the co-legislators. Regarding Article 14 of the draft Regulation, these objectives must not go against article 191.2 (TFEU) and deteriorate the quality and quantity of groundwater and surface waters.
The production processes involved in semiconductor manufacturing require high water consumption and employ hazardous chemicals such as PFAS (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds, the so-called “for-ever chemicals”) and heavy metals, which must be properly treated so as not to inflict considerable harm to groundwater and surface waters.
Environmental impact assessment
Normal permitting processes under the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU), in line with the goals of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), require that a thorough environmental impact assessment be conducted before a permit is granted. This protects both upstream water resources from over-exploitation and receiving waters from harmful pollution.
The language used in Article 14(2) calls for semiconductor manufacturing facilities to benefit from “the most rapid treatment” in processing their permit applications for pollutant discharge. We urge the co-legislators to ensure that this does not restrict the scope and accuracy of the environmental impact assessment.
Article 14(3) states that the security of supply of semiconductors can be understood as an imperative reason of overriding public interest within the meaning of Article 4(7) of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). This would simplify the granting of exemptions from the Water Framework Directive. Undermining the Water Framework Directive must be avoided.
Amendments to Article 14
As these sections of the legislative proposal were endorsed by the Council in its General Approach adopted on 1 Dec 2022, we consider it all the more urgent for the Parliament to adopt amendments to Article 14 ensuring that the objectives of the Water Framework Directive are applied to semiconductor production facilities and their permits.
More News and Articles
Mar 01, 2024
Researchers in the UK and Germany have developed a new approach for detecting pollution from ‘forever chemicals’ in water through luminescence.
Feb 28, 2024
This study presents BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology (BETT) as a new wastewater management solution toward the Net-Zero future. The results reported herein were collected from a BETT pilot system installed at a large brewery in Los Angeles, CA, United States processing …
Feb 26, 2024
Following the successful pilot of its digital asset management technology with Anglian Water, Norwegian digital analytics company InfoTiles is embarking on an expanded proof of concept programme.
Feb 23, 2024
NLN Farms, located near the coastal town of Chocowinity, North Carolina, needed to transfer water from four aquaculture ponds to a nearby reservoir. The farm selected Xylem's Godwin CD100 dewatering pump for the job, with Field Smart Technology, which enables …
Feb 21, 2024
Following the devastating flooding from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023, Watercare is acknowledging the ongoing recovery efforts one year on.
Feb 19, 2024
Our panel of international experts examines how utilities can embrace a global outlook when it comes to security.
Feb 16, 2024
The Silver Creek Water Corporation in southern Indiana manages millions of gallons of water, over hilly terrain, for 20,000 people. Over several decades, the utility has deployed technology from Xylem’s Sensus brand to remotely manage meters, prevent water loss and …
Feb 14, 2024
As the underground grows more crowded, the industry is under pressure to deliver highly accurate installations through a web of existing infrastructure.
Feb 12, 2024
In a new study, scientists at Heriot-Watt University have discovered a sustainable method to produce green hydrogen, a type of renewable fuel, using wastewater from the distilling industry. This new approach not only addresses the global challenge of water scarcity …
Feb 09, 2024
The UK water sector should give more focus to the themes of delivering resilient infrastructure systems and protecting and enhancing natural systems, according to a survey about the UK 2050 Water Innovation Strategy.
Feb 07, 2024
Drinking water scarcity is a global issue, including in Sweden, where it’s also used for crop irrigation and various industrial operations. This practice is neither sustainable nor efficient. Hence, MDU has launched an innovative research project aimed at developing efficient …
Feb 05, 2024
Industrial companies and commercial building owners wanting to reduce waste to improve cost efficiency and save water, must become smarter in their operations, writes Paul Hartley, chief commercial officer, Ovarro