By Manuel Marino

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Extra resources for An Integrated Approach to Wastewater Treatment: Deciding Where, When, and How Much to Invest (Directions in Development (Washington, D.C.).)

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R. 961, passed that year. Among the suggestions that were heard are various forms of a return to a watershed-based approach with increased local participation and control (Level 2). Other proposals involved general weakening of the federal standards, with increased flexibility in compliance. European Union Wastewater management policy in the European Union (EU) is generally regarded as the reference model for many developing or transition countries, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Present policy is the result of enormous social and economic development during the past decades.

It employs both technology-based effluent standards and ambient water quality standards. The standards are applied to discharges through a system of renewable permits. Approximately 384,000 such permits are currently in force. There are no special charges or taxes associated with discharge. Even though the standards imply a cost-benefit analysis, costs and benefits of specific actions are not a consideration in setting standards or developing policy. Enforcement is based on self-monitoring by discharges as well as an independent monitoring activity carried out (in most cases) by state agencies.

Level 2 efforts have generally led to comprehensive, adaptable, cost-effective solutions. Level 2 approaches began in Western Europe as early as 1913 in the German Ruhrverband and, at a national level, in the 1920s in Spain's Confederaciones Hidrográficas. The United States experimented briefly with this method prior to 1972. River basin management institutions continue in France, Germany, and Spain. Recent experimentation with Level 2 approaches has been initiated in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Poland.

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