Industrial Pollution & Chemicals

Our Work

IEEP has long been involved in industrial policy issues, playing a central role in developing the EU's integrated approach. We undertake a wide variety of research, reviewing implementation of industrial legislation, examining potential future changes and analysing its interaction with other policy areas, such as water policy or smart regulation. We are, therefore, actively working to shape and improve industrial pollution control policy in Europe.

Although traditional ‘heavy’ industry has declined significantly in most parts of the EU in recent decades, industrial production still consumes large quantities of resources, including energy and water. A major by-product of the production process is the generation of pollution – particularly to air, water and land – with industrial pollution responsible for some of the most extreme pollution incidents in recent years.

Some European pollution policies are specific to individual types of plant or activities (e.g. combustion plants, incinerators), while the Industrial Emissions Directive (formerly the  Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPC)) has established a more comprehensive approach to the environmental management of a wide range of industrial activities.

IEEP has long been involved in industrial policy issues. We were instrumental, for example, in contributing to a trans-Atlantic dialogue on integrated approaches to pollution control in the late 1980s, which ultimately led to the adoption of IPPC within the EU. We have worked with national governments and EU institutions on policy development, the implementation of specific Directives, the nature of policy instruments to change industrial performance and a whole range of interactions with wider economic issues. Today, IEEP is actively engaged in the ongoing challenge of interpreting and implementing the EU legislation already in place as well as considering novel issues such as unconventional gas extraction. There is also a need to think more widely, for example about how industrial legislation interacts with the Europe 2020 Strategy and objectives on 'smart regulation'. IEEP recognises all these issues as important when trying to deliver effective and efficient environmental protection.

Our work on industrial pollution includes research on a number of aspects of this wider strategic agenda and more specific issues and support measures related to pollution control. Particular interests include:

  • Pollution control policy
  • Regulatory Structures and Approaches
  • Air Quality
  • Chemicals

Latest in Industrial Pollution & Chemicals

  • Case studies focusing on different types of environmental crime

    IEEP, as being part of a 40-months EU-funded research project, produced three case studies focusing on illegal e-waste shipment, illegal localised pollution incidents and illegal fishing.

  • Access IEEP’s definitive guide to European environmental policy

    The award-winning Manual of European Environmental Policy is now available on IEEP’s website. This archive provides free access to the definitive guide to the development of European environmental policy.

  • The Manual: Chapter 2 - Air quality

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter focuses on EU air quality policy. The policy field is extensive and contains many directives that impose standards, provisions and developments of air quality management and regulation.

  • The Manual: Chapter 1 - Policy framework

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. In this chapter, the reader is introduced to European environmental policy, EU institutions and agencies, and the development of EU treaties.

  • The Manual: Chapter 4 - Industrial pollution

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter provides information on EU industrial pollution policy, which outlines and discusses the legislation in place to minimise the negative effects of harmful substances and pollutants on the environment and human health.

  • The Manual: Chapter 10 - Noise

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy.This chapter contains various pieces of EU policy which regulate noise pollution.

  • Railways and Atmospheric Emissions: Fuel Duty and Related Issues. A Discussion Paper from IEEP

    This paper, commissioned from IEEP by the SRA, outlines some of the key atmospheric pollution issues facing the rail industry, sets out the policy background and presents some options for future progress...