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Revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)

On 5 April 2022, the Commission adopted proposals for revised EU measures to address pollution from large industrial installations. These proposals concern revision of the IED and revision of the E-PRTR Regulation (to create the Industrial Emissions Portal). A Factsheet and Questions & Answers accompany the proposals.

In line with the European Green Deal, the overall aim of these proposals is to progress towards the EU’s zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment and to support climate, energy and circular economy policies.

More specifically, the new rules aim to:

  1. Ensure full and consistent implementation of the IED across Member States, with tighter permit controls on air and water emissions;
  2. Increase investment in new, cleaner technologies taking into account energy use, resource efficiency and water reuse whilst avoiding lock-in to obsolete technologies;
  3. Support more sustainable growth of sectors that are key to building a clean, low carbon and circular economy;
  4. Cover additional intensive farming and industrial activities, ensuring that sectors with significant potential for high resource use or pollution also curb environmental damage at source by applying Best Available Techniques;
  5. Establish an Innovation Centre for Industrial Transformation and Emissions (INCITE);
  6. Integrate the previously separate requirements for depollution and de-carbonisation so that future pollution control investments take better account of greenhouse gas emissions, resource efficiency and water reuse.
  7. Enhance data transparency and public access to environmental information by making permit summaries available online and providing more opportunities for public participation in the setting and review of permits.

Together, these measures will boost effectiveness and increase the focus on energy, water and material efficiency and reuse, and promote the use of safer, less toxic or non-toxic chemicals in industrial processes.

As outlined below, these proposals were preceded by an evaluation (to assess IED implementation) and an impact assessment (to identify measures to address implementation shortcomings).

 

You may find further documents that present the proposals here.

 

IED evaluation

The IED evaluation was supported by several studies. In a nutshell, the following lessons have been learnt:

  • The IED has played an important role in reducing emission of pollutants from industry, especially to air, but has made a more limited contribution to decarbonisation and the circular economy.
  • A major IED success is its governance model, which is based on co-creation of environmental standards with Member States, industry and environmental NGOs. Stakeholders therefore consider the IED to be a key EU instrument.
  • There is scope to improve and further develop the IED, through: widening its scope, improving key provisions on permitting and controlling industrial plants, and securing more transparent and effective access to environmental information and participation in decision making on IED permits by civil society representatives.

A number of case studies illustrate the type of environmental improvements that may be expected by applying EU industrial emissions legislation.

 

IED impact assessment

The Commission undertook an impact assessment to examine the need for EU action to address IED implementation shortcomings and to analyse the possible impacts of available solutions. This provided evidence to inform the Commission in its decision-making for proposing revisions to the IED.

Key milestones in the impact assessment included:

  • An Inception Impact Assessment described the range of options to be assessed. The design of the options and the assessment of their impacts were subject to refinement and contribution through stakeholder consultations.
  • An Open Public Consultation was undertaken via the Commission’s Have Your Say website.
  • A Targeted Stakeholder Survey addressed more specific questions to IED experts and stakeholders.
  • Interactive engagement occurred via a kick-off stakeholder workshop (15 December 2020) and a final workshop (7 July 2021).

You can see information on all consultation steps here.

The main consultant reports supporting the Impact Assessment are available here.

For further details regarding the impact assessment of the closely-related revision of the E-PRTR  Regulation, see our dedicated page.