WASHINGTON. D.C.  20460

                      February 16, 1976

TO:       EPA Staff

FROM:     Division of Visitors and Information Exchange
          Office of International Activities

SUBJECT:  Attached Report on Belgium

     Attached is a report on Belgium, third in a series of back-
ground country papers for EPA staff involved in international
activities.  The first two reports were on Japan and Luxemburg.
Other reports which will be available soon include:




          Austria                      Italy
          Denmark                      Netherlands
          France                       Spain
          Germany  (Federal Republic)   Sweden
          Great Britain                Switzerland



The country profiles, together with our monthly bulletin --
"Summaries of Foreign Government Environmental Reports", are
to inform EPA staff about national environmental efforts
abroad.  Suggestions on improving the format or contents of
the reports are welcome.  Please call Dolores Gregory


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     For Internal Use Only
                Office of International Activities
                Environmental Protection Agency
                February, 1976


     This is a brief report on the organization and management
of environmental activities on the national level in Belgium.
Reports on Japan and Luxemburg have already been distributed
and similar reports on other countries will be available soon.
These reports, which are background papers for EPA staff involved
in international activities, are not for distribution outside
the Agency.

     Emphasis is on policy and regulatory functions of national
environmental agencies.  Research and development, often under
the auspices of other departments, for example, Ministry of
Science and Technology, are not covered in these reports.

     Source documents for the reports, received under the
International Documents Exchange, are available in the EPA
Headquarters Library.  English summaries of the foreign docu-
ments are published in the monthly bulletin "Summaries of
Foreign Government Environmental Reports."
                              Office of International Activities
                              February, 1976

                               TABLE  OF CONTENTS


  I.   National Organization for Environmental Control            1

 II.   Environmental Legislation                                  5

III.   Environmental Standards                                   12

 IV.   Enforcement Procedures                                    15

  V.   Interrelationships Between Government and Industry        18

 VI.   Reference Notes                                           20

                                     0 N T R 0 I,   ! N   B E L G 1 U M
I.     National Organization for Environmental Control

       government structure

          Belgium is a constitutional, representative and hereditary monarchy.

The executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime

Minister, and by the King.  Legislative power is in the hands of Parliament, and

judicial power rests with the Supreme Court of Appeal.  The Parliament, composed

of a Senate and a Chamber of Representatives, is responsible for the proposal,

debate and passage of laws.  All legislative proposals are subject to the approv-

al of the Council of Ministers.  The Council is also responsible for seeing to

it that legislative enactments are carried out.  As the ministers are usually

members of Parliament, there is not really a complete separation of power between

the executive and legislature.  Further, as head of state, the King shares legis-

lative power with Parliament as well as exercising executive power in conjunction

with the Council of Ministers.  The powers granted to the King by the Constitution

include dissolution or postponement of sessions of Parliament, appointment of

ministers and judges and  command of the armed forces.  All acts of the King, how-

ever, must be countersigned by one of the ministers.

       national environmental body

          Belgium does not have one centralized environmental agency.  Environ-

mental policy is formulated mainly by the Ministry of Public Health, along with

various other ministries  and certain commissions established for research and

coordination of pollution control.  A Secretariat of  State for the Environment

has very  recently been created  to  coordinate legislation  and activities of various

services  involved in pollution  control  and  to serve  as a liaison between Belgium

and the European Community  in environmental  matters.


       agencies with environmental responsibilities

          Advisory functions are carried out by the Superior Councils of Public

Hygiene and Water Supply  as well as a national commission for the study of pol-

lution of sea water by hydrocarbons.   These groups conduct research and advise

the King on matters of pollution control.  The King is empowered by several laws

to issue royal decrees in the interests of environmental protection.  Coordinat-

ing activities are executed by interministerial committees for science policy

and water protection.

          The March 26, 1971 Law on the protection of surface waters against

pollution provides for the establishment of three water purification associa-

tions responsible for the decontamination of wastewater discharged into the

coastal basin, the Scheldt Basin, and the Meuse Basin.  These associations are

to include representatives of the provinces on the territory of which the juris-

diction of one of the associations extends, private enterprises using surface

waters from areas under an association's jurisdiction and enterprises discharging

polluted wastewater into these surface waters.  The duties of these associations

are research of possible causes of pollution and the execution of decontamination

programs through  the amelioration of existing water purification systems and the

establishment and maintenance of new systems.  Moreover, all discharges of waste-

water from other  than domestic sources must be authorized by the director of one

of the associations.   (These authorizations, however, can be annulled or modified

by the Minister of Public Health).

          The structure of the associations consists of a general assembly, whose

members represent the  three groups of participants and a council of administra-

tion, composed of nine elected members of the general assembly.  Press reports

indicate, however, that  these purification bodies have not yet been formed in


accordance with the March 26,  1971 Law,  although the necessary legal procedures

for their Implementation are being worked out.

          The creation of an interrainisterial commission for coordination in the

prevention and combating of air pollution is the subject of an October 7, 1971

Royal Decree.  Members of the commission represent eight ministries, as well as

the organizational hierarchy of the Prime Minister and the Secretariat of State

for Scientific Policy and Programming, and their functions include preparation

of regulatory provisions and coordination of work among the different ministries

involved in air pollution control.

       national-local relationships

          Belgium is composed of nine provinces, each of which is headed by a

governor.  The legislative body of the province is the provincial council,

administered by a "permanent deputation" of six provincial councillors.  The

provinces are further divided into communes, the basic unit of local government,

each headed by a burgomaster and board of aldermen.  Provincial and communal

authorities exercise a considerable amount of autonomy in voting their budgets

and providing for public services; however, there is a direct link between

national and local authorities, as local affairs are conducted under the aegis

of the Minister of the Interior.  It is on the advice of this minister that the

King names the governors and burgomasters.

          In the control of water pollution, although the national government,

primarily the Ministry of Public Health, provides regulations and standards, it

is mainly through  the initiative of the provinces and communes that water purifi-

cation systems are actually implemented.   As the three planned regional water

purification associations have not yet begun to function, provinces and communes

are conducting research  and planning activities for wastewater purification,


subsidized to a great extent by the national  government.

          A May 10, 1967 Royal Decree provides for the creation of provincial

commissions for the coordination of water problems.   The  functions of these

commissions are of a research, planning and development nature, including exchanges

of information on decontamination processes,  amelioration of irrigation waterways

in farmland, and maintenance of pure drinking water.

          The communal burgomasters and aldermen are  responsible for the authori-

zation of discharges of wastewater from domestic sources  into surface waters.

Both air and water pollution legislation impart to communal authorities the power

to take emergency measures in cases of dangerous contamination of air or water;

these measures, however, must always be confirmed by  the  Minister of Public Health

within an established time period.  Provincial and communal authorities may also

set their own penalties for non-compliance with environmental laws, in addition

to those established by national law.

II.    Environmental Legislation

       legislative system

          Although Parliament is considered to be the legislative power in

Belgium and the Council of Ministers (government) the executive, the legislative

duties of introducing and voting on laws are shared by both branches.  In prac-

tice, most laws are proposed by the ministers, after which they must be approved

by a vote of Parliament, with or without amendments.  When a proposed law is

introduced in one of the chambers of Parliament, the bill must be approved by

the appropriate minister before undergoing parliamentary study and debate.  Ul-

timately, the King must assent to every law, but this is usually a formality.

In certain instances, the King is empowered to issue "royal decrees" amending

or abrogating portions of existing laws.  Each such decree must be countersigned

by the appropriate minister; in some cases the ratification of Parliament is

required.  The judiciary branch has the power to contest royal decrees and re-

fuse their implementation if the decrees do not appear to be in accordance

with the Constitution.  Laws voted by Parliament, however, escape this judicial


       highlights of the laws and regulations on air and water pollution

          Belgium has a multiplicity of laws and decrees on the control of air

and water pollution.  Two basic laws, given additional substance by various

royal and ministerial decrees, provide for the protection of bi.uundwater and

surface water.  The March 26, 1971 Law on the protection of groundwater empowers

the King to take measures to protect groundwater for consumption and domestic

use.  With the consent of the Minister of Public Health, the King may establish

the procedures for the granting of authorization for the placement of discharge

of materials into or onto soil that may be harmful to the quality of groundwater.


This law is subsequent to a November 18, 1970 Royal Decree requiring authoriza-

tion from the minister in charge of mines for the extraction of groundwater

for other than domestic use and prohibiting all discharges of wastewater or

pollutants into wells or catchment areas.

          The March 26, 1971 Law also protects surface water against pollution

by prohibiting the throwing or placing of objects or materials in surface water.

It also bans the discharge of liquids, pollutants or gases into surface water,

other than authorized discharges of wastewater.  The King, on the advice of his

ministers, may regulate the manufacture, importation, sale and use of products

that may pollute surface water.  This law calls for the creation of the three

previously mentioned water purification associations.  The latter may authorize

wastewater discharges and provide for water purification installations.

          A more detailed regulation of the discharge of wastewater into public

sewers and surface water is afforded by a January 23, 1974 Royal Decree requiring

the sampling and analysis of discharged wastewater and of receiving waters to

assure that water purification standards are met.  Wastewater discharge into

highway drainage ditches is forbidden, unless  the wastewater is from a domestic

source, contains no  fecal matter, and has been treated for the elimination of

polluting materials.

          Surface water  is protected  from specific types of wastewater dis-

charge by a number of  additional  royal decrees.  Proprietors or sugar refineries,

                     9                    10
iron smelting works,   dairy enterprises,   metal pickling and metal-surface

                 11                                  12
treatment plants,    and  fruit  and vegetable canneries   must obtain an authori-

zation to discharge  wastewater from  the  authority having jurisdiction over the

receiving waters.  Within a certain  time period after such an authorization has

been granted,  the  above-mentioned enterprises  must submit plans  for purification


installations to the Office of Wastewater Purification in the Ministry of Public


          Two royal decrees, dated April 24, 1965 and May 6, 1966, deal with

drinking water.  The former requires that drinking water be potable, and the

latter defines non-potable water as having a pH value lower than 6.5 and contain-

ing one or more specified organisms or substances, the tolerable quantities of

which are listed.

          A third basic water pollution law protects sea water from contamina-

tion by hydrocarbons.  Dated July 4, 1962, this law prohibits navigating vessels

from discharging hydrocarbons or any mixture containing hydrocarbons likely to

dirty the surface of the sea.  In addition, ships are required to maintain a

registry of all hydrocarbons kept on board.  The King may make obligatory the

installation of oil separators on certain types of ships, and he designates the

ports which must have reception installations and determines the minimum volume

of residues that they must be capable of collecting during a given period of

time.  The November 29, 1967 Royal Decree designates types of ships that are

required to have a reservoir in which to store hydrocarbons until they can be

disposed of at a port reception installation.

          Aside  from these specific enactments, regulations against pollution of

Belgian sea water, ports and beaches are also incorporated in general police and

navigation regulations in  royal decrees dated January 22, 1929 and May 31, 1968.

Each of these  decrees contains an article prohibiting throwing, depositing, allow-

ing to float or  disposing  into water of objects that may impede navigation or

hinder the free  flow of water.    Any discharge of pollutants (hydrocarbons,

radioactive wastes, etc.)  is  forbidden.  In addition, the May 31, 1968 Royal

Decree on police regulations of the Lower Scheldt  river basin prohibits  the dis-

charge of objects or pollutants into those waters.


          There is one general air pollution law in Belgium dealing with atmo-

spheric pollution from stationary sources.   Provisions for control of air pollu-

tion by automobile fumes are incorporated in decrees on automobiles and traffic


          The December 28, 1964 Law concerning the fight against air pollution

empowers the King to take the following measures, with the consent of the Minister

of Public Health:  1) prohibition of certain forms of pollution; 2) regulation

or prohibition of pollution-causing apparatus; 3) regulation or requirement of

the use of preventive or pollution-control devices.

          The March 26, 1971 Royal Decree provides that technical specifications

to which combustion facilities used in heating buildings must conform in order

to be manufactured, imported or sold in Belgium will be determined by the Ministers

of Public Health, Economic Affairs, and Employment and Labor.

          A royal decree, dated July 26, 1971, designates certain areas of the

country as special protection zones against air pollution where, because of emis-

sions  from heating facilities, the air contains a yearly average of more than

150 micrograms of sulfur oxides per cubic meter.   In these areas, combustion of

peat,  lignite and smoking coal briquettes is prohibited.  Open-air incineration

of all wastes is proscribed except for the burning of vegetable wastes emanating

from the upkeep of gardens, the clearing of land or professional agricultural


          The July 26,  1971 Decree also stipulates that proper  functioning of

heating facilities in  the special protection  zones be maintained.  This decree

was further  implemented by  the ministerial decrees of March  26  and March 27, 1974,

issued by  the Minister  of Public Health.  They  set forth the technical processes

to be  followed in the mandatory testing of heating facilities fueled by solid

and liquid  combustibles in  order to determine the  amount of  fumes  emitted.


The March 27, 1974 Ministerial Decree concerns qualifications of technicians

responsible for maintenance of heating installations in the special protection

zones.  The decree presents a detailed list of courses of study to be given by

educational institutions (including examination requirements) to technicians in

accordance with air pollution control standards.  Also, the Minister of Public

Health must approve certifications of all graduates.

          Regulations on air pollution from automobile fumes are incorporated

in a March 14, 1968 Royal Decree on general regulations on policing of road

traffic.  Article 86 of this decree states that motor vehicles must be maintained

and driven so as not to emit, in an abnormal manner, oil and combustion wastes

or discharges of fumes harmful to traffic safety.  A subsequent decree of March

15, 1968 on general regulations on technical conditions to be met by motor ve-

 icles establishes the procedure to be used in measuring the opacity of exhaust

fumes in compliance with standards.    The permissible amount of carbon monoxide

content  in exhaust gases emitted from automobiles having ignition engines was

limited  to 4.5% or less by the November 8, 1971 Royal Decree.

       other program areas (noise, pesticides, radiation, protection of nature)

          Belgium has one general noise pollution law, dated July 18, 1973.

This  law empowers the King to take the following measures:   1) proscription

of the generation of certain noises; 2) placing of  time limits on certain noises;

3) regulation or prohibition of production, import  or sale of objects or machines

capable  of producing certain noises; 4) imposition  of standards for use of noise

reduction devices; and 5) creation of special protection zones within which

special  measures may be taken.  Decrees of August 9 and August 13, 1971 on general

regulations  for  technical conditions of motor vehicles require the measurement

of noise levels  in motor vehicles, the responsibility  for which is granted to

the  Foundation  for the Study  and Research of  Traffic Safety.


          Pesticide control in Belgium is dealt with in the June 20, 1964 Law

regulating food substances, as implemented by a December 6, 1968 Decree, author-

izing the government to establish and maintain a list, including tolerable levels,

of additives and residues of active pesticide substances allowable in foodstuffs

of plant origin.  In 1969 the government was empowered to authorize the use of

pesticides and other materials to stimulate growth in plants and livestock.  A

list of toxic pesticides and phytopharmaceuticals is contained in a decree of

May 31, 1958 with additions to the list appearing in subsequent decrees.  The

distribution of authorizations to sell or use toxic pesticides and phytopharma-

ceuticals is regulated in this decree as well as in a decree of April 5, 1963,

which also stipulates that treatment of products used for food purposes may be

undertaken only by persons specifically authorized by the Ministry of Public

Health.  In addition, prior to entry into commerce, pesticide products must have

their ingredients and intended use listed at and approved by the Ministry of

Public Health.

          Belgium has three laws on the protection of the environment from damage

by radiation.  The March 29, 1958 Law for protecting the population from ionizing

radiation hazards authorizes the government to set conditions for the importation,

production, storage, transport, sale, distribution and use of commercial, indus-

trial, scientific, medical or other uses of apparatus or substances capable of

emitting ionized radiation.  The government is also authori^u to take all neces-

sary measures  to safeguard the population and to avoid hazards resulting from

the accidental contamination of any place or substance by radioactivity.  Another

radiation law, dated August 9, 1963, places the responsibility for  any accident

caused by a nuclear vessel directly on  the operator of that vessel.  Finally,

in 1966 a law was enacted, prohibiting  any person  from receiving or depositing

in a nuclear  facility any nuclear substances, combustibles, or radioactive and

waste products, unless specific authorization has  been granted by the government.


          Provisions for the protection of nature and the safeguard of the natural

environment are contained in the July 12, 1973 law on the conservation of nature,

a framework law authorizing the creation of natural reserves, forest reserves and

and natural parks.  The law specifies the special characteristics of the three

types of reserves and designates those activities, such as hunting or deforesta-

tion, which are to be prohibited in each.  The Ministry of Agriculture is desig-

nated as the government agency responsible for the issuance of all necessary imple-

menting regulations, and provisions are made for the establishment of an advisory

Superior Council for the Conservation of Nature to assist the Ministry in the per-

formance of its functions under the law.

III.    Environmental Standards

       status of standards

          A general definition for a unit of water pollution is stated in a

January 23, 1974 Royal Decree regarding execution of the March 26,  1971 Law on

the protection of surface water as follows:   180 liters of wastewater containing

suspended materials in the amount of 500 mg./liter, having a biochemical oxygen

demand of 300 mg./liter in five days, a chemical oxygen demand of 750 mg./liter,

and nitrogen content of 55 mg./liter.

          More specific standards for the discharge of wastewater into public

sewers and surface water are established in the January 23, 1974 Royal Decree.

As regards discharges into public sewers, the decree stipulates that these dis-

charges may not contain solid household wastes, textile fibers, plastic wrappings,

or dissolved inflammable gases and that any detergent must be 80% biodegradable

within 24 hours.  Further, the temperature of wastewater may not exceed 45°C and the

pH value must be between 6 and 9.5.  The content of mineral oils, volatile sol-

vents, and animal or vegetable fat may not exceed 0.5 g./liter, and the content

of suspended material may be no more than 1 g./liter and no larger than 1 cm.

Finally, wastewaters entering public sewers are not to contain substances such as

phenol, phosphorous, fluorine, zinc, arsenic, or manganese in amounts that could

be harmful to sewers, purification installations or receiving waters.

           Standards  for  the discharge of wastewater into surface water are some-

what  different.   In  this case, the temperature of  the wastewater may not exceed

30°C  and the pH  value must be between 6.5 and 8.5.  In  addition, the content of

suspended  materials  is not to exceed 100 mg./liter, animal or vegetable  oil

content may  be no  greater than 5  mg./liter,  and  the detergent content  is not

to be more than  3  mg./liter.   In  industrial  sectors where hydrocarbons enter

directly into production processes,  the  content  of petroleum  or  its  derivatives


in discharged wastewater may not be  greater than 15 mg./liter;  in other industrial

sectors, petroleum content may not exceed 5 mg./liter.

          Lastly, a November 29, 1967 Royal Decree on pollution of sea water by

hydrocarbons states that, for ships on which oil separators are mandatory, the

water discharged into the sea must contain less than 100 parts  oil per 1,000,000

part of mixture discharged.

          Clean air standards in Belgium are fewer in number than those for water.

The July 26, 1971 Royal Decree creating special protection zones against air

pollution, as further delineated in a January 29, 1974 decree,  sets standards for

heating facilities in the special protection zones.  Fuel oils  for domestic heat-

ing are not to contain more than 1 percent sulfur.  When solid  fuels are used,

the maximum permissible weight of combustion gases is 0.6 g./lOOOkcal and the

proper temperature of combustion gases less than 400°C.  When liquid fuels are

used, the proper temperature of combustion gases is between 200 and 350°C, and

the carbon dioxide content of those gases must be more than 9 percent.  Moreover,

heating facilities must not emit visible fumes, except rarely and in a fleeting

manner and traces of oil should not be visible on  filter paper used in measuring

the fume  index.

          As  for air pollution caused by automobile emissions,  motor vehicles

with ignition engines are  to comply with the standards set by the "March  20, 1970

European  Communities Council of Ministers Directive on the Harmonization  of Legis-

lation of Member States  on Pollution  from Positive-Engine Equipped Motor  Vehicles.

Besides,  automobiles must  be maintained  so as not  to emit exhaust gases having a

carbon monoxide  content  exceeding 4.5%.

          The Ministry of  Public Health  sets most  of the  air and water pollution

standards in  conjunction with  the King and,  in  certain cases, other ministries.

For example,  technical specifications to which  combustion apparatus must  conform


in order to be manufactured, imported or sold in Belgium are established by the

Ministries of Public Health, Economic Affairs and Employment & Labor.  The Ministry

of Communications issues directives on automobile emissions; in general, standards

for air pollution caused by motor vehicles are taken from the "March 20, 1970

European Communities Council of Ministers Directive on the Harmonization of Legis-

lation of Member States on Pollution from Positive-Engine Equipped Motor Vehicles."

          Advisory councils on water supply and public hygiene and various afore-

mentioned environmental research commissions assist the government in the formula-

tion of anti-pollution standards.

          All laws and regulations regarding pollution control in Belgium contain

a statement as to the Minister(s) responsible for their execution; in most cases,

it is the Minister of Public Health.  Major laws, like the 1971 laws on protection

of surface water and groundwater and proper maintenance of heating facilities, are

the subject of newspaper articles, urging citizens to comply with regulations.  In

addition, officials of the Ministries concerned with the environment speak to

industrial groups such as the Union of Brussels' Enterprises,   emphasizing the

necessity of clean-air and clean-water measures.

       formulation and promulgation

          All standards are incorporated into laws and decrees and published in

the Moniteur Beige (Belgisch Staatsblad), the official law gazette of Belgium.

Copies of laws also appear in  the Bulletin Usuel des Lois et Arretes, Les Codes

et les Lois Speciales les Plus Usuelles en Vigueur en Belgique, and Recueil des

Lois et Arretes.

IV.    Enforcement Procedures

       court system

          Belgium's judiciary system is empowered to act independently of the

other branches of the government.  Although judges are chosen by the King on the

advice of the Ministers, they can be removed from their posts only by the Cour

de Cassation (the Supreme Court of Appeal), the highest court.  At the bottom

of the court structure are the Tribunal de Police, the lowest criminal court,

and the Justice de Paix, the lowest court for civil cases.  These courts deal

with minor offenses carrying a maximum penalty of seven day's imprisonment.  The

Tribunal de Premiere Instance handles appeals from the lower courts, as well as

the majority of civil cases and more serious criminal cases involving penalties

of up to five years' imprisonment.  Appeals from this court are heard by the Cour

d'Appel.  Criminal cases resulting in sentences of from five years imprisonment

to the death sentence are carried out in the Cour d'Assise, the only court having

a jury.  Sentences of the Cours d'Assise, although not open to appeal, can be

set aside by the Cour de Cassation, which submits the case to retrial by a court

of the same level as that which originally heard the case.  The Cour de Cassation

consists of two sections, civil and crimina.1-. presided over by at least seven

judges.  The function of this court is the annulment of verdicts of other courts

if its judges feel that the law has not been properly applied.  In addition, the

citizens of Belgium are protected against arbitrary actions of the national,

provincial or municipal governments by the Council of State (Conseil d'Etat),

which can annul administrative verdicts and order Indemnification for damages

resulting from governmental actions.

       enforcement mechanisms

          Enforcement of environmental regulations is carried out by various

agents of the Ministry of Public Health and by local and communal authorities.


Groundwater laws are enforced by engineers and agents of the Administration of

Mines as well as agents designated by the Minister of Public Health.  These

officials, who may be assisted by communal authorities, are responsible for taking

samples of substances in groundwater suspected of being harmful and submitting

them to a designated laboratory.  These agents can prohibit utilization of mal-

functioning installations or apparatus that may pollute the water; after fifteen

days, such measures must be ratified by the Ministry of Public Health.

          Similarly, enforcement procedures for surface water and drinking water

include taking and analyzing samples of discharged water and receiving water (in

the case of surface water) and distribution networks (in the case of drinking

water).  Agents of the Ministry of Public Health  (more specifically, the Water

Distribution Service, the Inspectorate of Food Commodities and the Institute of

Hygiene and Epidemiology) may enter water distribution installations at any time

to extract samples.

          Regulations regarding discharges of hydrocarbons into sea water are

enforced by maritime commissions, maritime police, and other local officials.

Within  24 hours of a ship's arrival in port, the  ship captain must advise the

maritime commission of any discharge  into the water of a mixture containing

more than the permissible amount of hydrocarbons.

          Air pollution  laws are enforced through sample-taking of  fumes from

commercial heating installations by agents of the Inspectorate of Public Hygiene

in the  Ministry of Public Health.  The carbon monoxide content of automobile  fumes

may be  measured by local police.  If  a heating  facility in a private residence

is suspected of non-compliance  with air standards, the Justice de Paix may grant

permission  for  inspection by government agents.


          Each major environmental law includes a statement of penalties for non-

compliance.  Infractions against groundwater, surface water and air standards are

punishable by eight days to six months in prison and/or a fine of 26 to 5,000

francs.  Penalties for non-compliance with drinking water standards are eight

days to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of 26 to 1,000 francs.  Penalties

are doubled if a new offense is committed within two years of a previous conviction.

In all cases, the offender is considered to be guilty until proven innocent.

V.      Government-Industry Relationships


          One of the most industrialized countries in the world, Belgium is a

large producer of steel, non-ferrous metals and metal manufactured products,

as well as chemicals, textiles, glass, and paper products.

          In the fight against pollution of surface water, private industries

are to be represented in the aforementioned water purification associations,

along with the provincial officials.  The general assembly of each association

is to have one representative from each industrial enterprise that utilizes sur-

face water in the association's district and one representative from each industry

which discharges pollutants into the water and uses one of the association's puri-

fication installations.

          Further cooperation between government and industry is indicated by a

multi-disciplinary research and development program concerning water problems,

being carried out by academic and industrial laboratories.

          In the area of financing purification installations for treatment of

wastewater, the  government has instituted subsidy programs to aid the water puri-

fication associations, as well as private enterprises which must comply with

clean-water standards and which do not have one of the association's installations

at their disposal.

       polluter  pays?

          Initial investments and maintenance costs of planned purification

facilities of the three  associations  are  to be borne by  the provinces in the

associations' districts  and the industries involved, along with aid from the

national government.  Provinces are to contribute  funds  in proportion to the

number of inhabitants residing in an  association's district.  Industrial


enterprises utilizing surface water under an association's jurisdiction are to

pay in proportion to the volume of water extracted, and enterprises polluting

surface water must pay in proportion to the amount of polluting substances con-

tained in their discharged wastewater.    Additional funds may be provided by

the sale of purified water and byproducts of the purification process.

          Private enterprises that have to build their own purification facili-

ties can receive government subsidies through a five-year aid program, extending

from January 1, 1974 to May 1, 1979; by virtue of this program the national govern-

ment will provide financial aid varying from 60% in 1974 to 35% in 1979,   thereby

creating an incentive for industries to undertake water treatment programs as

soon as possible.  In order to qualify  for such assistance, an enterprise must

begin execution of the treatment project within three months from the time of

                                         1 /
the government's decision to provide aid.

          In addition to the previously discussed procedures for the inspection

of water purification installations, holders of authorizations to discharge

wastewater are obligated to report any  changes in the composition or quantity

of wastewater  to the director of the water purification association in that area.

Further, if a  director of one of the associations determines that an enterprise

continues  to pollute surface water, even after judicial scrutiny, he is to advise

the Minister of Public Health who  may suspend authorization to discharge  and pro-

hlbit  the use  of installations and equipment suspected of causing pollution.

Reference Notes

Numbers  in brackets  following entries  are  the  identification numbers  assigned
to documents which have been abstracted  for  the  Foreign Exchange Documents
Program  of the E.P.A. Office of  International  Activities.   Copies of  documents
are  filed under  these numbers at  the E.P.A.  Headquarters Library in Washington,

1.   "Ce  que sera la  pollution de  1'environnement en Belgique,"
       Le Peuple   (Brussels), May  29, 1974, p 2.

2.   Materialen zum Umweltprogratmn der  Bundesregierung 1971, (Bonn:  Federal
       Ministry of the  Interior,  1971), p 636.   [ID //00354A]

3.   established  by Royal  Decree  of December  7, 1955.   [ID //00454A]

4.   Materialen zum Umweltprogramm der  Bunde regie rung 1971, p 636.  [ID //00354A]

5.   "Le  gouvernement se pr£occupe de la  protection de 1'environnement,"
       Le Soir   (Brussels),  June  5, 1973, p 2;  "Vingt-deux communes
       de I1agglomeration  namuroise realiseront-elles ensemble 1'epuration
       de leurs eaux  usees?" Le  Soir  (Brussels), April 12, 1974, p 7.

6.   ibid.,  p  7.

 7.   March 26,  1971 Law on protection of  surface water against pollution.   [ID //00549A]

 8.   December  10, 1954  Royal Decree.  [ID //00461D]

9.   September 12, 1956 Royal Decree.   [ID  //00461F]

10.   February  10, 1967  Royal Decree.  [ID //00461G]

11.   November  3,  1969 Royal Decree.  [ID  //00461H]

12.   November  3,  1969 Royal Decree.  [ID  //00461J1

13.   January 22,  1929 Royal Decree, Article 11, [ID 000462A]; May 31,  1968 Royal
       Decree, Article 13.  [ID  000813A]

14.   Article 21.

15.   Exceptions are  given  in July 3, 1972 Royal Decree.

16.   Article 39.

17.   July 19,  1971 Royal Decree regarding approval of automobiles with
       ignition engines, as regards emission of gaseous pollutants.   [ID //00436D]

18.   November 8,  1971 Royal Decree on limiting of carbon monoxide content
       in exhaust gases emitted by automobiles having ignition engines.  [ID #00436G]


19.  "Lea industrials appeles a epurer eux-memes leurs eaux residuaires,"
       Le Soir (Brussels), March 28, 1974, p 8.  [ID //00549E]

20.  March 26, 1971 Law on the Protection of Groundwater.  [ID //01324A]

21.  Edgar Kesteloot, "Les nuisances et les possibilites de les maitriser,"
       Pour une conservation e^fficace de 1' environnement, Colloque
       des 15 et 16 decembre 1970, (Brussels:Pare Leopold, 1972),
       p 31.

22.  measured in units of pollution, defined in January 23, 1974 Royal Decree
       on minimum pollution amounts regarding the Law of March 26, 1971 on the
       protection of surface water.  [ID //00549D]

23.  "Les industriels appeles a epurer eux-memes leurs eaux residuaires,"
       op. cit.

24.  January 23, 1974 Royal Decree on intervention of the government in
       investment by an industrial enterprise for special treatment of
       wastewater.   [ID #005490]

25.  March 26, 1971  Law on the protection of surface water.  [ID #00549A]