2018 Workshop: PMT substances under REACH

At 13th and 14th of March 2018 the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) held the workshop "PMT and vPvM substances under REACH. Voluntary measures and regulatory options to protect the sources of drinking water".

The workshop was attended by over 100 experts from 15 nations and was a huge success. Representatives from the chemical and the water sector as well as from industry, academia and agencies gave presentations and shared their opinions on the proposed PMT and vPvM criteria as well as their practical implementation under ⁠REACH⁠.

Day one focused on the proposed criteria themselves. UBA and NGI presented regulatory and scientific justification and the chemical industry and a water utility company shared their views. There were fruitful discussions on the role of applying hazard based vs risk based criteria. There were also interesting discussions regarding the proposed definition of Mobility, with some arguments for different threshold levels, and in general several requests to develop the scientific rational of mobility more solidly. Other interesting discussions were related to how to include non-persistent substances that transform in the environment to PMT/vPvM, referred to as PMT/vPvM-precursors, and the possibility of extending the definition of mobility to other environmental media, such as air or marine systems.

Day two focused on the benefits of implementing the PMT/vPvM criteria under REACH and future steps. This was first introduced by UBA and followed by a series of case studies that presented PM and PMT substances in the environment and in drinking water at high concentrations. Examples showed how regulatory and voluntary actions to reduce emissions led to noticeable reductions in the local environment. There were fruitful discussions with a wide variety of opinions on how much regulation and voluntary measures of PMT/vPvM substances should be based on the precautionary principle vs evidence of risk to protect drinking water. The final two presentations from the Member State Committee of ECHA and the DG Environment of the EU Commission set the scene for how to develop policy around the PMT/vPvM criteria. These presentations sparked a discussion related to the fact that in order to regulate, one has to follow the current REACH legislation in order to develop a legal case. Many experts agreed that voluntary measures by industry to protect the sources of our drinking water would be preferred compared to regulation by authorities. The presentation from the EU Commission (DG Env) included several other EU regulations (other than REACH) that could be relevant for the regulation of PMT/vPvM substances, either in their current form, or through future revisions. There was also interesting insight into how the ⁠CLP⁠ regulation could be developed to include PMT/vPvM criteria.

Final program

Tuesday: 13th March Discussions towards a consensus regarding the criteria to identify PMT/vPvM substances under REACH


12:00 Registration and lunch


12:30-13:00 Welcome and Introduction: PMT substances under REACH
Prof. Dr. Eisenträger, German Environment Agency


13:00-13:30 Benefits of PMT criteria for substances under REACH for drinking water company Oasen
Dr. Harrie Timmer, Oasen drinkwater


13:30-14:15 The proposed PMT criteria: how many P, M and T compounds are registered under REACH and are in drinking water?
Prof. Dr. Hans Peter H. Arp, NGI Oslo/NTNU Trondheim


14:15-15:15 Discussion café: Persistency, mobility and toxicity


15:15-15:35 Industrial point of view: Reflection on the PMT criteria and proposed tools to identify and regulate such chemical
Dr. Ronald Bock, CEFIC *


15:35-15:55 Scientific point of view: Hot Target Analysis – deriving the drinking water relevance of organic substances from intrinsic properties
Dr. Karsten Nödler, TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser *


15:55-16:15 Voluntary Groundwater Watch List: ongoing work coordinated by EU Common Implementation Strategy Working Group Groundwater
Dr. Ronald Kozel, Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU *


16:15-17:15 Discussion and close of day one


18:45 Evening Program: Boat tour with dinner. Boat departs at 19.00 s.t.


Wednesday: 14th March  Discussion on the future outlook, voluntary action, regulatory options, and mitigation measures


9:00-9:30 The way forward for the protection of the sources of our drinking water
Dr. Michael Neumann, German Environment Agency


9:30-10:00 Experiences with managing PMT chemicals in industrial waste water in German from 1992-2004
Prof. Thomas Knepper, Hochschule Fresenius Idstein *


10:00-10:30 1,4-Dioxane in Surface and Ground Water: Sources, Analysis and Reduction of Emissions
Dr. Wolfgang Körner, Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt *


10.30-11.00 Break


11:00-11:30 REACH regulatory approaches and ECHA’s Member State Committee
Dr. Watze de Wolf, Chairman of the Member State Committee *


11:30-12:00 Current and Future Regulatory approaches for PMT substances
Dr. Sylvain Bintein, European Commission *


12:00-13:00 Discussion: Solutions, advantages and outlook


13:00 Close of workshop and lunch


* Please contact the presenters directly for copies of presentations that cannot be downloaded from the website.


For any additional questions, please contact:

Sarah Hale, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, sah [at] ngi [dot] no
Michael Neumann, UBA, michael.neumann(at)uba.de