The Government has yet to decide how the UK will comply with the Directive. It could either limit emissions from individual plant or draw up a national emissions reduction plan.
The national plan option was inserted into the Directive after strong UK lobbying, but since then the Government has deferred its decision (ENDS Report 331, pp 38-39 ) and industry opinion is divided (ENDS Report 335, p 48 ).
The guidance confirms the Commission's advice to the UK Environment Department that emission reductions resulting from plant closures will not count towards the plan.
It also stresses Member States should "take into account" obligations under other EU legislation - mentioning the Directive on integrated pollution prevention and control, but not the Directive setting national emissions ceilings for acid gases (ENDS Report 331, pp 37-38 ).
Member States have until 27 November to submit national plans to the Commission if they choose that option. Companies hoping to be exempt from the plan under the "limited life declaration" have until 30 June 2004 to submit a written declaration to national competent authorities. This is for plant which will generate for less than 20,000 hours from the start of 2008.