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News article14 December 2021Directorate-General for Environment

Industrial emissions: Commission report reveals shortcomings in the implementation of EU law

The European Commission published today a Report assessing progress on the implementation of EU law on industrial emissions. This second report under the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU) provides a wealth of information on implementation issues in more than 52 000 industrial installations across Europe between 2013 and 2018.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:

Polluting emissions from industry are harmful to human health and the environment and cost billions of euros to society. The correct implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive is key to preventing and reducing emissions and will contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Zero Pollution Action Plan. The Commission’s report adopted today provides practical support to EU Member States and industry in their fight against pollution.

The report highlights a number of implementation issues:

  • Failure to submit baseline reports when there is a risk of soil or groundwater contamination.
  • The need to improve public access by making permit document in large number of Member States easier to find and understand.
  • The necessity to address reporting issues on the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) in Member States such as information on permits, permit updates and derogations.
  • The need to ensure compliance of large combustion plants with applicable emission limit values, as they are a major source of pollutants emissions.  The Commission is systematically monitoring the situation of a number of time-limited IED derogations for large combustion plants which have come to an end or are approaching their end.

The Commission will continue to provide support for Member States’ competent authorities in their efforts to improve implementation of the Directive. The Commission will also further analyse cases of significant non-implementation with IED provisions, and take appropriate enforcement actions should systemic breaches be identified.

Background

Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and the Council on the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is the main EU instrument regulating pollutant emissions from industrial installations. The IED plays a key role in reducing emissions of polluting substances from EU industry.

Industrial production processes account for a considerable share of overall pollution in Europe due to their emissions of air pollutants, discharges of waste water and generation of waste. According to the European Environment Agency, emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from large industrial sites cost our society between €277 and €433 billion (2017 data). This is why, as committed in the European Green Deal and the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the IED is currently being revised to steer industry towards zero pollution, considering also the findings of the report. A Commission proposal for a revised IED is expected towards the end of the first quarter of 2022.

The IED aims to achieve a high level of protection of human health and the environment taken as a whole by reducing harmful industrial emissions across the EU, in particular through better application of Best Available Techniques. Around 52,000 installations undertaking the industrial activities listed in Annex I of the IED are required to operate in accordance with a permit granted by the authorities in the Member States. This permit must contain conditions set in accordance with the following principles and provisions of the IED: (1) an integrated approach, (2) use of Best Available Techniques, (3) flexibility, (4) inspections and (5) public participation.

For more information

Background on the Industrial Emissions Directive

Evaluation and revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive

European Environment Agency briefing ‘Counting the cost of industrial pollution’

Commission Report on the implementation of Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions for the period 2013-2018

Details

Publication date
14 December 2021
Author
Directorate-General for Environment

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