The Industrial Emissions Directive

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is a crucial European law that regulates pollution caused by industry across the 28 Member States of the EU. The IED covers the activities of about 55,000 industrial installations. Alongside other requirements, the IED sets minimum binding limits for three pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and dust.  

All installations covered by the IED are required to hold permits issued by national or local responsible authorities. The Directive provides guidelines to permit-issuing authorities based on agreed Best Available Techniques (BAT) and contained in a reference document called a ‘BREF’, which must be consulted whenever a permit is issued or renewed. 

BREFs are drafted through the Sevilla Process and sector-specific documents exist for a number of different industrial activities. You can find more information about the Large Combustion Plant, Waste Treatment and Waste Incineration BREFs on their dedicated pages. Information on further BREFs is currently being developed, please contact us for more information.

BREFs have been drafted for a number of industrial sectors and the IED envisages they be renewed every four years. In fact, the revision process has been slow and many BREFs are already many years out of date. 

The European Commission has launched a fitness check of this Directive. Contributions to the roadmap are available European Commission IED Evaluation Roadmap. The preliminary views of the EEB are put forward in this document: EEB input to IED Evaluation