Member states still not compliant with IPPC

Many member states are still not fully compliant with the IPPC directive on industrial pollution, according to a recent European Commission report. The report assesses implementation during the period 2006 to 2008. The IPPC directive requires that existing installations be covered by Best Available Techniques (BAT) compliant permits as of 30 October 2007.

The Commission has opened infringement cases against Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, France, Ireland and Sweden. So far, all but four of these cases have been referred to the European Court of Justice, which ruled on the first case against Belgium in 2010 for failing to meet the Directive's deadline. Further proceedings are ongoing against Estonia and Lithuania for failure to properly transpose the law.

Regarding the quality of the permits issued, the main problem identified by the report is the low proportion of permits reflecting the implementation of BAT, as set out in the relevant BAT Reference documents (BREFs). In particular, no justification could be found for the significant differences between the BREFs and permit conditions set for more than 50 per cent of the installations examined.

Source: European Commission's report COM (2010) 593 final, 25 October 2010.

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