Industrial production processes account for a considerable share of the overall pollution in Europe due to their emissions of air pollutants, discharges of waste water and the generation of waste.
Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and the Council on industrial emissions (the Industrial Emissions Directive or IED) is the main EU instrument regulating pollutant emissions from industrial installations. The IED was adopted on 24 November 2010. It is based on a Commission proposal recasting 7 previously existing directives (including in particular the IPPC Directive) following an extensive review of the policy (see here). The IED entered into force on 6 January 2011 and had to be transposed by Member States by 7 January 2013.
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 (BAT). Around 50,000 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 should contain conditions set in accordance with the principles and provisions of the IED.
The IED is based on several pillars, in particular (1) an integrated approach, (2) use of best available techniques, (3) flexibility, (4) inspections and (5) public participation.
For certain activities, i.e. large combustion plants, waste incineration and co-incineration plants, solvent using activities and titanium dioxide production, the IED also sets EU wide emission limit values for selected pollutants.
3. The IED allows competent authorities some flexibility to set less strict emission limit values. This is possible only in specific cases where an assessment shows that achieving the emission levels associated with BAT described in the BAT conclusions would lead to disproportionately higher costs compared to the environmental benefits due to the geographical location or the local environmental conditions or the technical characteristics of the installation. The competent authority shall always document its justification for granting such derogations.
Furthermore, Chapter III of the IED on large combustion plants includes certain flexibility instruments (Transitional National Plan, limited lifetime derogation, etc.).
In addition, through the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). emission data reported by Member States are made accessible in a public register, which is intended to provide environmental information on major industrial activities.
Reports by the Commission
IED Articles 30(9) and 73 require the Commission to review the need to control emissions from certain types of animal rearing and combustion plants and to report the results. The reviews are available here and the report was adopted by the Commission in May 2013.
IED Article 76 requires the Commission to report on the exercise of the power to adopt delegated acts conferred on it. The report was adopted by the Commission in June 2015.
IED Article 73 requires the Commission to report on the implementation of the Directive on the basis of information reported by Member States. The first of these reports was adopted by the Commission in December 2017.
A short summary of the IED is also available at the Europa-site.