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Written by Hedley Skelton, Senior Process Engineer

Hedley is responsible for planning and overseeing the delivery of technical projects that reduce customers’ operational costs, such as water and trade effluent charges, whilst maintaining an innovative and cost-effective focus. Hedley has a PhD from the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge and is a joint winner of the Innovation of the Year Award at the Water Industry Achievement Awards, 2013.

Industrial Emissions Directive: what you need to know

18th October 2017

Industrial production accounts for a very high share of overall pollution as a result of high levels of wastewater discharge, general waste and emission of air pollutants. That’s why the industrial sector has always been subject to strict environmental regulations.

What is the Industrial Emissions Directive and how can we help your business stay legally compliant?

Designed to make it easier to comply with EU regulations, the Industrial Emission Directive (IED) is an umbrella regulation that brings together the following seven directives:

  • Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD)
  • Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPCD)
  • Waste Incineration Directive (WID)
  • Solvent Emissions Directive (SED)
  • Three existing directives on titanium dioxide

Adopting the IED and bringing all the separate directives into one is a step forward in taking an integrated approach to controlling and monitoring industrial emissions. It is now the main tool regulating pollutant emissions from industrial installations, including power stations, pharmaceuticals, petrochemical, food and drink, waste management, and intensive livestock rearing and slaughtering.

The IED aims to achieve a high level of protection of the environment by reducing harmful industrial emissions, in particular through the application of ‘best available techniques’ (BAT). This development means discharges into the environment will have to be treated to meet each sector’s standards and/or evidence will have to be provided for an exemption from the standards. It also makes it more straightforward to comply with the regulations.

For those industry sectors that have a specific ‘best-available-techniques reference document’ (BREF), the compliance date is the later of either:

  • four years after the Common Waste Water and Waste Gas Treatment/Management Systems in the Chemical Sector (CWW) publication date


  • four years after the publication date of their specific BREF.

In most cases this is 2024. Non-compliance by this date will lead to enforcement action, starting with warning letters and ultimately leading to prohibition of activities.

We have years of experience in helping industrial organisations carry out feasibility studies, optioneering and BAT assessments, to help with IED compliance and/or build your case for a derogation. We work with different types of industrial discharges like food and drink, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and metal fabrication. So you can rest assured that by following our advice your business will be legally compliant.

Why not have a look around our website for more information, or give us a call on 03450 704158 and ask for the Value Added Services team to learn more about how we can help you.

A joint venture between Anglian Water Business and NWG business