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Council Directive 96/61/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control

Type of law

The aim of this Directive is the integrated prevention and control of pollution arising from the activities listed out in Annex I, such as energy industries, production of basic organic chemicals, waste management, production of pulp from timber, slaughtering and production of food products from animal or vegetable raw materials. This Directive lays down measures designed to prevent or reduce, as the case may be, emissions in the air, water and land from the activities aforementioned, in order to achieve a high level of the environment taken as a whole. For the purposes of these provisions, pollution means the direct or indirect introduction as a result of human activity, of substances, vibrations, heat or noise into the air, water or land which may be harmful to human health or the quality of the environment, result in damage to material property, or impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment. Member States must take all necessary measures to ensure that the installations where the said activities are carried out are operated in such a manner that: (a) all the appropriate preventive measures are taken against pollution, particularly through the best available techniques; (b) no significant pollution is caused; (c) waste production is avoided (in accordance with Directive 75/442/EEC); (d) the necessary measures are taken to prevent accidents and limit their consequences. The above-mentioned installations may not be operated within the Community unless the competent authority of the Member State concerned has previously granted the permit required under this Directive. Article 4, on the one hand, regards the issuance of permits for new installations; article 5, on the other hand, lays down the requirements to be met in order to obtain the issuance of permits for existing installations. Further provisions regulate in depth the procedure relating to the issuance of the permits: applications for permits (art. 6); integrated approach to issuing permits (art. 7); conditions of the permit (art. 9); reconsideration and updating of permit conditions by the competent authority (art. 13); access to information and public participation in the permit procedure (art. 15); exchange of information between Member States and the Commission as well as exchange of information between member States and the industries on best available techniques (art. 16). Article 17 makes rules regarding transboundary effects. On the basis of article 18, the Council shall set emission limit values for the categories of installations referred to in Annex I and also for the polluting substances defined under Annex III.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
This Directive came into force on 30 October 1996.
Serial Imprint
Official Journal L 257, 10 October 1996, pp. 26 40
Source language


Legislation status
Legislation Amendment
Implemented by