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Six Bulgarian Beaches Fail Brussels Tests

Date: 31.07.2009

Six out of ninety-three bathing areas along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast do not meet the mandatory values for cleanliness of the water, according to a report of the European Commission.

These are located in Varna, Ravda, Golden fish camp site and Chernomorets, said the report, which was presented on Thursday by Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for the Environment.

Beach water quality improved last year across Europe after EU member-countries introduced stricter rules to help cut pollution, fecal count and tarry residues at popular swimming sites, the report showed.

More than 92 % of the coastal beaches, rivers and lakes tested in the 27-member European Union met water-quality standards, an improvement over 2007 and "cause for satisfaction," the European Environment Agency said.

Bulgaria is one of only two EU Member States located on the Black Sea, together with Romania. The comparatively new member states started reporting the quality of their bathing waters in 2007.

About 94.9 % of bathing areas complied with the mandatory quality values, which was slightly lower than the European average of 96.3 %. The compliance rates were 98 % in Romania and 93.3 % in Bulgaria.

Compliance with the more stringent guide values stood at 51.4 %, markedly below the European average of 88.6 %. Only one bathing site in Romania met the guide values compared to 78.7 % of sites in Bulgaria.

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