EU adopts stricter rules on industrial emissions

November 9th, 2010 - 2:04 am ICT by BNO News  

BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) — The European Union (EU) on Monday adopted a new legislation which will bring down industrial emissions from large combustion plants across the region.

The legislation - proposed by the European Commission in December 2007 - is looking to bring several environmental and health benefits to European citizens, such as an expected reduction in premature deaths of 13,000 per year.

The new rules will also lead to significant savings through the reduction of administrative burden and provide a more level playing field for industry.

“The vote by the Council to adopt the new Directive on industrial emissions is a milestone in industrial pollution control in the European Union,” EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said.

“It will help ensure the level of protection from industrial pollution that EU citizens deserve. It will substantially strengthen the current legal framework further reducing air and other environmental pollution and become an important driver for eco-innovation,” Potočnik added.

In addition, at the core of the new Directive is the strengthening of the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT), making BAT Conclusions the reference point in the permitting process. The proposal revises the minimum emission limits that apply to large combustion plants across the EU to bring them in line with BAT.

These requirements should ensure that operators of industrial installations apply BAT in a more uniform manner and that consequently a more level playing field for industry is achieved.

The Commission is expecting BAT Conclusions to be essential in delivering implementation of BAT in a clear, enforceable and transparent manner across all Member States.

The strengthened role of BAT will also give clear signals to industry to ensure strives to deliver the high environmental performance described in BAT Conclusions at the lowest costs.

Furthermore, the Directive also requests Member States to actively promote emerging techniques, thereby fueling a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement of EU industry’s environmental performance.

Recognizing that unnecessary administrative burden is harmful to European industry and its competitiveness in the global market the Directive reduces such administrative burden by €32 million ($44.5 million) per year at the EU level.

The Commission will also continue to work with Member States to try and tackle unnecessary administrative burden at the national level in their implementation of the Directive over the coming years.

The Directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal, which is expected before the end of 2010. Member States will then have 2 years to transpose the Directive into their legislation and to start implementing the new legislation.

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