The JRC contributes to the sustainable growth priority of the Europe 2020 Strategy and to the development of a low carbon society by addressing energy, transport, clean production technologies, and sustainable consumption and production (SCP). SCP is a priority of the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) aimed at promoting economic growth and social cohesion without impairing environmental quality. SCP is also an integral part of the Resource Efficiency flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. A major research objective is to understand the conditions under which technologies are developed, identifying the barriers to their diffusion and use and analysing the measures to improve their uptake in the context of relevant environmental regulation. By focusing on innovative energy, resource-efficient manufacturing technologies and systems, the European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau (EIPPCB) thus contribute to understanding of the interactions between industrial and manufacturing sectors, product groups and services. The EIPPCB also contributes to aligning environmental performance requirements for industrial installations thus contributing to the achievement of a level playing field in the Union.
The EIPPCB is indispensable for the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), 2010/75/EU, which is a major part of the European environmental policy. The Bureau is discharging an obligation of the Commission to 'organize an exchange of information between Member States, the industries concerned, non-governmental organisations promoting environmental protection and the Commission on best available techniques, associated monitoring and developments in them' as laid down in Article 13 of the IED. The Bureau develops the Best Available Techniques reference documents, called BREFs, regarding the industrial sectors covered by the Directive. Each BREF is the outcome of a two to three year process involving up to 100 experts, including the formal representatives from the Member States. In the framework of the IED, the Bureau also develops the so-called 'BAT conclusions' which contain the key elements of BREFs. 'BAT conclusions' are implementing acts under the IED legislation.
Given the techno-economic and scientific nature of the BREFs as well as the sensitive nature of their conclusions, this work can only be carried out by the JRC.
The IED Directive is a major piece of legislation regulating about 50000 installations in the EU from a wide range of industrial and agricultural activities (energy industries, metals industry, mineral industry, chemical industry, rearing of poultry and pigs, etc.). It aims, through a system of permits containing emission limit values (ELVs) and other permit conditions based on best available techniques (BAT), to achieve the integrated prevention and control of the consumptions of energy, water, raw materials and chemical auxiliaries as well as the prevention and control of pollution to water, air and soil.
The BREFs are not only very well recognised in the European Union but also worldwide. In 2009, there were over 70000 BREF downloads from the EIPPCB website. The EIPPCB website appears as a link in a considerable number of websites. Also, international institutions such as the World Bank and UNEP use the BREFs.
The EIPPCB, established in 1997, works under a long term agreement with DG ENV. The Member States are, however, the ultimate beneficiaries of the Bureau's work. In 2007, the Bureau completed the first series of 33 BAT reference documents foreseen in the IPPC Directive and is engaged in the review of these documents.
The activities of the Action aim at promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy. These activities are embedded in the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative "Resource efficient Europe", and are linked to the Flagship Initiatives "Innovation Union" and "An industrial policy for the globalisation era". The Action focuses on the following initiatives from the Commission: the Action Plans on Sustainable Production and Consumption and on Sustainable Industrial Policy, the Environmental Technologies Action Plan and its follow-ups, the Thematic Strategy on Waste and Recycling, the Raw Materials Initiative, and the Roadmap for a Resource-Efficient Europe.
|Summary of the activity
For each of the industrial/agricultural sectors covered by the IED, the exchange of information results in the elaboration of a BAT reference document (BREF). The key parts of the BREFs (called BAT conclusions) are The (only) reference for the competent authorities of Member States to set emission limit values (ELVs) and other conditions for IED permits. The BREFs inform the relevant decision makers about what may be technically available and economically feasible to industry in order to improve their environmental performance. The elaboration of BREFs at EU level is considered to be an efficient exercise because in their absence, each Member State would have to conduct a similar exercise.
Currently, there are 35 BREFs. Because BAT is a dynamic concept, BREFs have to be reviewed and updated. In 2005, the process to review BREFs started.
The expertise of the European IPPC Bureau is also requested in support of other policy areas such as the elaboration of BREFs for non-IED installations, e.g. for mining activities.
DG Environment is the primary internal customer for this action; DG Enterprise has a strong association with the work due to the representation of industry in the process. For certain BREFs, other DGs such as Energy and Transport (DG TREN) and Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) have actively participated in TWGs. DG Climate Action (CLIMA) is also a user of the BREFs. The information exchange includes liaison that is relevant to these or other DGs bearing in mind that the final BREFs are subject to Inter Service Consultation (ISC) prior to adoption by the Commission.
The JRC/IPTS has been actively involved in setting-up and carrying out training activities in Member States on the implementation of the IPPC/IED Directive in general and on the use of the BREFs in particular.
In the light of the new IED, a specific administrative arrangement was signed between JRC-IPTS and DG ENV in 2010 (for a duration of three years) which foresees that the EIPPCB will carry out new tasks to support the implementation of the IED, in particular the draw up of new BREFs for activities not falling under the IPPC Directive but covered under the IED.
The EIPPCB is cooperating with the Institute of Energy (IE) on the BREFs where energy is a major issue, in particular on the review of the Large Combustion Plants (LCP) BREF.
In the international arena and in the framework of the EU-US Science and Technology cooperation, it can be noted that the EIPPCB started in 2007 cooperation with the US EPA on the review of the Common Waste Water and Waste Gas Treatment BREF. Further cooperation could arise with the US EPA on the review of other BREF documents such as large volume organic chemicals, ferrous metal processing, large combustion plants, waste processing, textiles manufacturing, industrial cooling systems.