IPPC proposal raises concern about level playing-field

The long-awaited draft EC Directive on integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) has finally been unveiled by the European Commission.1 Controversy has already been sparked both within industry and among Member States by the Commission's decision not to use the legislation to promote early harmonisation of national industrial pollution control standards and, at one point, even to discourage it. And although strongly influenced by Britain's integrated pollution control (IPC) regime, it is sufficiently different for British industry to take a close interest in the progress of negotiations.

The proposal has gone through several drafts since early 1991. Its legal basis is Article 130s of the EC Treaty. In the past this would have meant that it could only be adopted by unanimity, but following the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty on 1 November it will be open to adoption by qualified majority vote.

The Commission wants Member States to bring the Directive into force by 30 June 1995, but this seems an optimistic time-t

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