Industrial Effects on the Environment in the EU
Though pollution caused by careless industry practices has declined since the European Union began making environmental reforms, it still has a great bearing on water quality in Europe. Europe's continued reliance on coal and oil, high concentration of human population, and high commercial density are three major reasons for the present polluted water situation.
Pollution of oil into marine environments, though largely caused by urban runoff, is also the result of untreated waste from industries and discharged into surrounding rivers.
A couple of sources of pollution are acid rain and the direct emission of chemical and other industrial waste. Acid rain is the result of increased release of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. Depending on an areas specific susceptibility, aquatic ecosystems can vary in how they are affected by acidic runoff resulting from acid rain. Generally, microorganisms are most affected by the acidity change, affecting additional species higher on the food chain. Mining is another source of pollution. Pollution resulting from mining is more likely in the Eastern European countries. It is one of the problems these countries are addressing as they apply for entrance into the European Union. Toxic fluids released from mining runoff into surrounding streams or rivers. More than a third of 150 mining sites in Eastern Europe have a high potential for causing human health threats, among other ecological issues. The most notable pollutants of fresh water are nitrate, heavy metals and hydrocarbons. However, the pollution of the Danube and other such major rivers with these compounds has decreased since the 1990s, because of the decline of industrial production. In 1996 the EU set up a list of rules called the IPPC Directive (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) which aimed to reduce industrial pollution by implementing new requirements based on total use of...
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