The European Commission published an implementing decision to reduce emissions from large combustion plants, which are the biggest single source of air pollutant emissions in the EU and a major public health hazard contributing to around 400,000 premature deaths every year.
The decision makes it obligatory for these installations to operate with permits based on Best Available Techniques (BAT), meaning the most effective and advanced operation methods minimising emissions and their impact on the environment.
“In supporting the Commission Implementing Decision, Member States have reconfirmed their strong support for reducing emissions from large combustion plants,” said Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius. “This reinforcement of the measures adopted under the Industrial Emissions Directive will protect EU citizens from critical health risks and support Member States in achieving their national emission targets under EU air quality legislation.”
EU rules for reducing industrial emissions aim to achieve a high level of protection of human health and the environment by reducing harmful industrial emissions across the EU, in particular through better application of BAT. Decisions on BAT conclusions are the basis to reassess and update the environmental permits of industrial plants, that are found in a variety of industries, for example, iron and steel, refineries or chemical sectors, but the majority are used for electricity and heat generation.