Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU)

Last updated: 11 December 2023

The Industrial Emissions Directive aims to achieve a high level of protection of human health and the environment taken as a whole by reducing harmful industrial emissions across the EU. The Directive regulates over 50,000 of the EU's largest industrial installations, including energy industries, production and processing of metals, minerals and chemicals and waste management (Annex I). These installations must operate in accordance with a permit with conditions that are aligned with the principles and provisions of the Directive.
The Directive is based on several pillars:

  • The integrated approach obligates authorities to take into account the holistic environmental performance over the lifetime of a plant in the permitting process. 
  • Emission limit values are to be based on the Best Available Techniques (BAT) defined at the EU level. For certain activities, EU-wide emission limits are set. Under certain circumstances, competent authorities within member states are allowed flexibility to set less strict emissions limits where they can provide a justification.
  • Mandatory environmental inspections are to take place every 1 to 3 years, using risk-based criteria. 
  • The public has a right to participate in the decision making processes surrounding permitting and the right to information regarding the results of emissions monitoring.

In 2022, the European Commission proposed a revision of the Directive as part of the European Green Deal. The proposal for revision aims to improve the Directive by increasing the focus on energy, water and material efficiency and reuse, in addition to promoting the use of safer, less toxic or non-toxic chemicals in industrial processes. 

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