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Industrial emissions

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Industrial emissions

To control industrial emissions, the EU has developed a general framework based on integrated permitting. This means the permits must take account of a plant’s complete environmental performance to avoid pollution being shifted from one medium - such as air, water and land - to another. Priority should be given to preventing pollution by intervening at source and ensuring prudent use and management of natural resources.

ACT

Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control).

SUMMARY

To control industrial emissions, the EU has developed a general framework based on integrated permitting. This means the permits must take account of a plant’s complete environmental performance to avoid pollution being shifted from one medium - such as air, water and land - to another. Priority should be given to preventing pollution by intervening at source and ensuring prudent use and management of natural resources.

WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?

A recast of seven earlier pieces of legislation on industrial emissions, it lays down rules to prevent and control pollution into the air, water and land and to avoid generating waste from large industrial installations.

KEY POINTS

The legislation covers the following industrial activities: energy, metal production and processing, minerals, chemicals, waste management and other sectors such as pulp and paper production, slaughterhouses and the intensive rearing of poultry and pigs.

All installations covered by the directive must prevent and reduce pollution by applying the best available techniques* (BATs), efficient energy use, waste prevention and management and measures to prevent accidents and limit their consequences.

The installations can only operate if in possession of a permit and have to comply with the conditions set therein.

The BAT conclusions adopted by the Commission are the reference for setting the permit conditions. Emission limit values must be set at a level that ensures pollutant emissions do not exceed the levels associated with the use of BATs. However they may, if it is proven that this would lead to disproportionate costs compared to environmental benefits.

Competent authorities need to conduct regular inspections of the installations.

The public must be given an early opportunity to participate in the permitting process.

For more information, see the European Commission's webpage on industrial emissions.

KEY TERM

* Best available techniques (BATs): the most effective techniques for preventing or reducing emissions that are technically feasible and economically viable within the sector.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2010/75/EU

6.1.2011

7.1.2013

OJ L 334, 17.12.2010, pp. 17-119

A correction to Directive 2010/75/EU has been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is intended purely as a documentation tool.

Last updated: 30.06.2015

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