IED, the ‘stable-killer’ directive

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On 12 March 2024 the European Parliament approved the reform of theIndustrial Emissions Directive‘, IED, also known as the ‘stable-killing’ directive. The MEPs thus decided to equate pig, chicken and laying hen farms with industrial plants. (1)

On this occasion, the regulation establishing a European public information portal on the levels of emissions and pollution caused by industrial plants was also approved. While the war industry explodes in the Old Continent and in the Mediterranean.

1) Industrial Emissions Directive, IED

Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU is the instrument adopted in 2010 to regulate the levels of polluting emissions produced in the industrial sector. Industries carrying out the activities listed in Annex I to the Directive can only operate after obtaining an authorization granted by the authorities of the Member States on the basis of the following criteria:

 integrated approach. Consideration must be given to the overall performance of the installation including pollutant emissions (to air, water and soil), waste generation, use of raw materials, energy efficiency, noise, accident prevention, site restoration after closure

– ‘best available techniques’ (BAT). The European Commission, on the basis of consultations coordinated by IPPC at the Joint Research Center in Seville, publishes the technical documents defining permit conditions, emission levels according to the type of installation and best available techniques (IED, art. 3, par. 11 and 12), (2)

– emission limit values for the most polluting activities such as combustion plants, waste incineration, activities using solvents and titanium dioxide production (IED, art. 15, par. 3)

– flexible emission values for specific cases where an assessment shows that ‘achieving the emission levels associated with the best available techniques described in the BAT conclusions would entail disproportionately higher costs compared to the environmental benefits‘ due, for example, to geographical location or local environmental conditions (IED, art. 15, par. 4).

2) IED, the ‘stable-killing’ regulations

The European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen in 2022 started the process of amending the IED directive to include livestock farming among industrial activities. (3) The European Parliament has in turn approved the idea of ​​subjecting the farms of:

– pigs with more than 350 livestock units (UBA), i.e. with more than 1100 adult pigs, excluding those that apply extensive or organic methods or that raise the animals outdoors for a significant period of the year

– poultry with over 21400 laying hens or 40000 broilers

– mixed, pigs and poultry, with over 380 LUs.

Ad maiora, by 31 December 2026 the (next) Commission may decide whether to extend the application of the FDI to cattle farms. As well as deciding whether to introduce a reciprocity clause for products imported from non-EU countries, in order to ensure equivalent standards to European ones. (4)

3) Sanctions

Member States will have to establisheffective, proportionate and dissuasive‘ sanctions, in line with the criteria defined in the directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law. (5) The effectiveness of financial penalties requires that they beproportionate to the turnover of the legal person or the income of the natural person responsible for the infringement‘.

The penalties must therefore:

– deprive the person responsible for the infringement of the economic benefits derived from that infringement
– increase gradually in the event of repeat offences
– have a maximum amount not lower than 8% of the annual turnover of the operator, if committed by a legal person.

The determination of sanctions must also consider:

– the nature, seriousness and extent of the breach;

– the intentional or negligent nature of the violation;

– the population or environment affected by the breach, taking into account the impact of the breach on the objective of achieving a high level of protection of human health and the environment‘ (new article 79).

4) Compensation principle

Citizens and/or consumers who have suffered damage to their health as a result of violations of the rules in question will have the right to take action – also through associations for the protection of human health and the environment – to obtain compensation.

In legal proceedings, if there is evidence of a causal link between the damage and the violation of the standards, it will be up to the person responsible for the violations to prove the contrary (reversal of the burden of proof. New Article 79-bis).

5) Industrial emissions portal

The European Parliament also approved the proposal for an EU regulationrelating to the communication of environmental data from industrial installations and the creation of an industrial emissions portal, and repealing Regulation (EC) 166/2006‘. (6)

The portal aims to ensure public access to industrial emissions data at European level. The data, reported by the Member States to the Commission, will have to be kept for at least 10 years (Art. 5.2), and provide information on:

– pollutant emissions
– off-site waste transfers and spills of pollutants into wastewater (7)
– individual installations
– consumption of water, energy and raw materials
– releases of pollutants from diffuse sources
– links to databases of national pollutant release and transfer registers and other publicly accessible registers, databases or websites (art. 4).

6) Approval and entry into force

The MEPs approved both the pollutant emissions directive and the portal regulation by a large majority, with all groups in the European Parliament voting in favour:

– 393 votes in favour, 173 against and 49 abstentions for the IED (9)

– 506 votes in favour, 82 against and 25 abstentions for the Portal. (10)

The IED Directive, subject to formal approval by the European Council, will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. Member States will have 22 months to transpose it into their national laws.

7) Emissions and pollution, the supreme hypocrisy

European policies on climate and pollution they express a supreme hypocrisy that no one dares to question:

– on the one hand, this directive claims to equate European pig and poultry farms that are anything but ‘intensive’ with industrial plants. This increases the already unsustainable bureaucratic burden on farmers whose primary goal is to provide healthy and nutritious food at affordable prices for European consumers

– on the other hand, pork and poultry meat, as well as beef, imported duty-free from third countries practising socio-environmental dumping are unconditionally accepted. Such as Brazil and Argentina, for example, where animal husbandry robs land from the populations living there and devastates primary forests (11,12)

– and again, with no regard for the ‘Green Deal’, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel urges the Union and its member states to activate a ‘war economy’ involving the reconversion of heavy industry for war purposes. In view of the deployment of hundreds of thousands of missiles and munitions on the borders of Europe, on populations and ecosystems.

#NotinOurNames #PeaceEarthDignity #Égalité

Dario Dongo and Alessandra Mei

Footnotes

(1) Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) and Directive 1999 /31/EC of the Council of 26 April 1999 on waste landfills https://tinyurl.com/p7ebrbnb

(2) Each type of system will have the reference BAT. As regards livestock farming, for example, ‘the relevant BAT requirements take into account the nature, size, density and complexity of these installations, including the specificities of pasture-based livestock farming systems, where animals are only raised seasonally in indoor installations, and the range of environmental impacts they may have. The proportionality requirements contained in BAT aim to incentivize farmers to implement the necessary transition towards increasingly environmentally friendly agricultural practices‘ (new recital 4)
(3) New chapter VI up to, articles of 70 up to to 70 tens

(4) European Parliament. Reduce pollution from industry and large livestock farms. 12.3.2024 https://tinyurl.com/mr367rj3

(5) Dario Dongo, Alessandra Mei. Environmental crimes, the new EU directive. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 7.3.24

(6) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the communication of environmental data from industrial installations and the creation of an industrial emissions portal, and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 166/2006 https://tinyurl.com/bdjcecb3

(7) Dario Dongo, Ylenia Desiree Patti Giammello. Agricultural waters and food safety, reg. EU 2020/741. The ABCGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 26.9.21

(8) Dario Dongo, Ylenia Desiree Patti Giammello. Water pollution. Antibiotics, drugs, pesticides in the new EU monitoring planGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 17.10.22

(9) Roll-call vote result for the Industrial Emissions Directive https://tinyurl.com/3djxv62j

(10) Result of roll-call vote on the regulation to establish the industrial emissions portal https://tinyurl.com/4s55uz9n

(11) Dario Dongo, Isis Consuelo Sanlucar Chirinos. Land grabbing and deforestation in Brazil, barbarism continuesGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 20.5.22

(12) Dario Dongo. Argentina, Gran Chaco on fire for GM soybeans and beef cattle. #BuycottGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 10.8.19

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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Graduated in Law from the University of Bologna, she attended the Master in Food Law at the same University. You participate in the WIISE srl benefit team by dedicating yourself to European and international research and innovation projects.

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