Commission takes legal action against UK non-compliance with the LCP Directive

The European Commission issued a reasoned opinion in September 2014 due to a failure to comply with EU requirements on industrial emissions, stemming from the Directive 2001/80/EC on Large Combustion Plants (LCP). The infringement concerns coal-fired Aberthaw power station in Wales, which is exceeding the emission limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx). NOx is a pollutant that has serious consequences for human health and the environment, causing respiratory illnesses, acidifying soil and surface water, and damaging vegetation. In line with LCP Directive member states were required to reduce emissions by 1 January 2008 either individually, by complying with the emission limits set out in the Directive, or by including these plants in national plans for the reduction of emissions. Having met neither of these requirements, Aberthaw power plant currently operates on the basis of a NOx emission limit of 1200 mg/Nm3, as opposed to the legally applicable 500 mg/Nm3. In case of failure to take effective measures to comply with emission limits for NOx, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.


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