For Member States the revision of the EQS has a considerable effect on many WFD related activities (e.g., surface water classification). Accounting for bioavailability in a regulatory context provides an evidence-based way to assess compliance and, importantly, to prioritize and rank locations at potential risk. However, it will be a new way for regulators to work.

Permits for nickel dischargers will inevitably change with the revision of the nickel EQS from the current value of 20 µg/L. However, there is limited consistency across Member States on how these are calculated, the timeframe over which revisions will occur and, importantly, what the implications are for nickel producers and downstream users.