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Industrial emissions limits tightened


05 May 2010


Climate & Environment

The European Parliament's environment committee adopted a draft report today by Holger Krahmer (FDP, Germany) at second reading, recasting existing EU legislation on limits to industrial emissions - integrated pollution, prevention and control (IPPC).

Although the Council did not accept the so called emissions safety net adopted by Parliament in first reading, the draft recommendation from the rapporteur remained close to Parliament's first reading position.

"This is a partial success," said Holger Krahmer, Parliament's rapporteur and enviromental spokesman for the FDP in the European Parliament. "In exceptional cases regarding the authorisation of industrial plants, authorities in member states are allowed to digress from the latest technologies available. These specific regulations for those exceptional cases have been tightened."

Instead of the emissions safety net, Krahmer proposed minimum requirements that would only need to be met for problematic sectors (high impact and insufficient implementation). Furthermore the rapporteur aims at tightening the possibilities for the competent authorities to allow for derogations.

The industrial emissions directive seeks to prevent and control, in a coordinated way, pollution of the air, water and soil resulting from emissions from industrial installations.

Khramer added: "I am very happy that we were able to eliminate the requirement for the preparation of a soil status report because it would not have improved the protection of the environment but nevertheless would have increased bureaucracy."

Editors note:

The directive regulates emissions of a wide range of pollutants, including sulphur and nitrogen compounds, dust particles, asbestos and heavy metals. The Directive is aimed at improving local air, water and soil quality, not at mitigating the global warming effects of some of these substances. Emissions of carbon dioxide are not covered by IPPC.

In order further to reduce pollution from LCPs - large combustion plants (eg. oil refinereies and the metal industry), the Commission had proposed tightening the existing emissions limits for them by bringing them into line with current Best Available Techniques (BAT) by 2016.

The Council agreed to apply current BAT to new plants earlier than proposed by the Commission, namely within two years after the entry into force of the Directive. Existing LCPs would have to apply current BAT from 2016, but the agreement foresees a transition period: until the end of 2020, Member States may define transitional national plans capping emissions of certain pollutants (NOx and/or SO2 and/or dust). These annual ceilings must decline between 2016 and 2020 and meet levels associated with current BAT at the end of 2019.

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84



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