The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive addresses a wide range of industrial activities. The original Directive was issued in 1996 (96/61/EC) and has been amended four times since. Its latest version is in force since January 2008 (2008/1/EC).

It is based on general principles for industrial activities which include: no significant pollution of air, water or soil; avoidance of waste production; efficient energy use; prevention of accidents and their consequences; responsibility for the industrial site after cessation of the activities. It outlines the responsibility of competent authorities to apply the integrated approach when issuing permits and to make use of Best Available Techniques and to respect existing environmental quality standards. And finally, it stipulates the rights of access to information of the public and public participation when activities have an impact on their immediate environment.

The range of industries addressed by the IPPC Directive covers six main categories: Energy industries; Metal industries; Mineral industries; Chemical industries; Waste management industries; Food industries and other industries which process material of biological origin. Under the IPPC Directive Emission Limit values may be established; the most relevant pollutants have been specified in the Directive; 13 pollutants or groups of pollutants have been identified for emissions to air and 12 for emissions to water. 

Future developments

The Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution includes the objective to introduce a single and coherent legislative instrument which addresses industrial sources and contributes to attain the level of environmental protection which has be defined  in the new Air Quality Directive. To that end the Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive on Industrial Emissions on 21 December 2007 which has been sent to Parliament.

The Proposal is primarily a recast of the present IPPC Directive  2008/1/EC, but will include six other Directives which are presently in force:


Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC)

Solvent Emissions Directive (1999/13/EC)

Three directives on the production of Titanium dioxide (78/176/EC, 82/883/EEC and 92/112/EEC)

The Paints Directive (2004/42/EC) will not be included in the new IPPC Directive.