Industrial Emission Directive (IED)

A revision of the IED might set targets on GHG emissions reduction for all industrial installation

The European Commission (EC) will likely present a proposal to revise the Directive by the end of 2021 after collecting experts and stakeholders’ opinions via an online survey in Q4 2020. The EC will also conduct an impact assessment to look at all economic, social and environmental impacts.

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 to air, water and soil from industrial installations.

Industrial activities listed in Annex I of the IED, including waste treatment operations, are required to operate in accordance with a permit which is granted by the authorities in the Member States. The permits must cover emissions to air, water and land, generation of waste, use of raw materials, energy efficiency, noise, prevention of accidents, and restoration of the site upon closure. The permit conditions include emission limit values. They are based on the Best Available Techniques (BAT). The IED allows competent authorities some flexibility to set less strict emission limit values. This is possible only in specific cases where achieving the emission levels would lead to higher costs.
The IED should be aligned with the green deal and the efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The EC will likely set emission limit values for GHGs for all industrial installations. The EC also need to coordinate the IED with climate legislation – e.g. Emission Trading System Directive and Effort Sharing Regulation.

The recent evaluation of the IED has identified some areas of improvement. The EC will evaluate to include in the scope of the directive installations carrying out biological treatment of non-hazardous waste with a capacity below 75 tonnes per day, which are currently excluded.
Other changes that will likely be integrated concern:

  • Revising the current system derogations from BAT conclusions based on economic reasoning
  • Revising the process for the elaboration of BAT conclusions at EU level
  • Facilitating access to information to general public
  • Integrating BAT conclusions with indicator to measure waste generation in order to promote technologies that reduce the production of residuals.