Large factories, refineries, agriculture, power stations and other forms of industry damage the environment as a result of their activities. The European Union has passed laws in order to prevent and control these negative impacts.
This website aims to provide a platform for the exchange of information about industrial pollution with specific regard to the crucial European legislation in this area: The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). The IED aims to achieve “a high level of environmental protection of the environment taken as a whole” by ensuring the use of ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) in industrial processes.
In each Member State national or regional authorities must consider the Best Available Techniques contained in sector-specific reference documents called BREFs when issuing permits for activities covered by the IED. There are over 50,000 IED permit holders across the EU, ensuring that the techniques they use really are the most effective has an enormous potential to reduce the environmental impacts of industrial activities.
BREFs are drafted by the European Commission and agreed by Technical Working Groups involving representatives from Member States, industry bodies (operators as well as abatement technique providers) and a number of environmental NGOs. Held at the European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau, part of the EU’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain, the drafting and discussions about these documents is known as the “Sevilla Process”.
There are a number of challenges for Environmental NGOs taking part in the Sevilla Process:
- Gathering data from best performers and setting BAT conclusions that reflect the genuinely best techniques in terms of environmental performance
- Countering the industry bias that results from their over-representation in the Sevilla Process and tackling political interference by obstructive industry groups, including complicity with representatives of Member States and the European Commission
- Decision making that protects the status quo, only considering the economic impact plant operators
- Promoting a comprehensive and inclusive approach to deliver a high level of environmental protection, often while coming up against stakeholders reluctant to change
In order to face these challenges and improve the Sevilla Process, this website aims to provide:
- An interactive and transparent information exchange and outreach tool for active stakeholder involvement
- A trigger for engagement of innovators in pollution abatement technologies and techniques – suppliers and operators, researchers, auditors assessing compliance to provide data/information gathering on BAT and their actual performance
- Positions that allow for an engagement with decision makers to improve the ambition level of the BAT conclusions
- Outreach on support activities on implementation (permits, legal reviews) of the BAT conclusions adopted [link related policies section]
This website is run by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and made possible thanks to the support of the European Commission (Grant No 07.0203/2014/694762/SUB/ENV.C3), the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt – UBA), the European Climate Foundation and the Austrian Environmental Protection Agency (Umweltbundesamt GmbH). The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of the EEB and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the ECF or the German or Austrian authorities.