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Industrial emissions

The European Union (EU) defines the obligations to be met by industrial activities with a major pollution potential. It establishes a permit procedure and lays down requirements, in particular with regard to discharges. The objective is to avoid or minimise polluting emissions in the atmosphere, water and soil, as well as waste from industrial and agricultural installations, with the aim of achieving a high level of environmental and health protection.

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

This Directive brings together Directive 2008/1/EC (the ‘IPPC Directive’) and six other directives in a single directive on industrial emissions.

Sectors of activity

This Directive shall cover industrial activities with a major pollution potential, defined in Annex I to the Directive (energy industries, production and processing of metals, mineral industry, chemical industry, waste management, rearing of animals, etc.).

The Directive shall contain special provisions for the following installations:

  • combustion plants (≥ 50 MW);
  • waste incineration or co-incineration plants;
  • certain installations and activities using organic solvents;
  • installations producing titanium dioxide.

This Directive shall not apply to research activities, development activities or the testing of new products and processes.

Environmental requirements

Any industrial installation which carries out the activities listed in Annex I to the Directive must meet certain basic obligations:

  • preventive measures are taken against pollution;
  • the best available techniques (BAT) are applied;
  • no significant pollution is caused;
  • waste is reduced, recycled or disposed of in the manner which creates least pollution;
  • energy efficiency is maximised;
  • accidents are prevented and their impact limited;
  • sites are remediated when the activities come to an end.

Application of best available techniques

Industrial installations must use the best available techniques to achieve a high general level of protection of the environment as a whole, which are developed on a scale which allows implementation in the relevant industrial sector, under economically and technically viable conditions. The European Commission must adopt BAT conclusions containing the emission levels associated with the BAT. These conclusions shall serve as a reference for the drawing up of permit conditions.

Permit conditions

The permit must provide for the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the operator’s basic obligations and environmental quality standards. These measures shall comprise at least:

  • emission limit values for polluting substances;
  • rules guaranteeing protection of soil, water and air;
  • waste monitoring and management measures;
  • requirements concerning emission measurement methodology, frequency and evaluation procedure;
  • an obligation to inform the competent authority of the results of monitoring, at least annually;
  • requirements concerning the maintenance and surveillance of soil and groundwater;
  • measures relating to exceptional circumstances (leaks, malfunctions, momentary or definitive stoppages, etc.);
  • provisions on the minimisation of long-distance or transboundary pollution;
  • conditions for assessing compliance with the emission limit values.

Special provisions

Special provisions shall apply to combustion plants, waste incineration and co-incineration plants, installations using organic solvents and installations producing titanium dioxide.

The emission limit values for large combustion plants laid down in Annex V to the Directive are generally more stringent than those in Directive 2001/80/EC. A degree of flexibility (Transitional National Plan, limited life time derogation) shall be introduced for existing installations.

For other activities subject to special provisions, the provisions of the current directives have been largely maintained.

Environmental inspections

Member States shall set up a system of environmental inspections of the installations concerned. All installations shall be covered by an environmental inspection plan. The plan shall be regularly reviewed and updated.

Based on the inspection plans, the competent authority shall regularly draw up programmes for routine environmental inspections, including the frequency of site visits for different types of installations. The period between two site visits shall be based on a systematic appraisal of the environmental risks of the installations concerned. It shall not exceed one year for installations posing the highest risks and three years for installations posing the lowest risks.

Repeal

Directive 2010/75/EU replaces definitively,

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2010/75/EU

6.1.2011

7.1.2013

OJ L 334 of 17.12.2010

Last updated: 10.03.2011
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