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From IPPC to IED: Health and environment in Europe need a stronger Directive

Marga Robesin

elni Review 2008, Issue 2,  pp. 54-59.

On 9 September 2008 the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament held a first discussion on the Proposal for a Directive on Industrial Emissions (IED) and the draft report of rapporteur Holger Krahmer. The proposal revises and merges seven separate existing Directives related to industrial emissions (the IPPC Directive and six sector Directives) into a single Directive. The current IPPC Directive and the proposed Directive have the same objective: achieving a high level of environmental protection by preventing or minimising industrial emissions into air, water or soil, with an integrated approach to pollution control. This high level of environmental protection is necessary to obtain an environmental quality in the EU that is healthy for its inhabitants and nature. The current situation is still far from satisfactory. The situation regarding air is even alarming. This causes serious damage to health, nature and economy. Effective and efficient instruments are therefore needed. The proposal for an IED aims at improving the existing legislation to ensure better implementation and enforcement of this legislation by national authorities yet can it succeed?
In the Netherlands many cases concerning air pollution by industrial installations have been brought to the Dutch administrative court (the Council of State). Although the situation in other Member States is different, the lessons learnt from these cases are not typical for the Dutch situation and for air pollution. They address issues that are relevant for answering the question as to whether the proposed IED indeed will improve the possibilities to achieve a high level of protection, such as by setting ambitious standards, adequate monitoring and enforcement as well as public participation in the decision making process.
This contribution focuses on the way in which the Proposal deals with the issue of ambitious standards.

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