Firms ‘need to do more’ to cut pollution

Releases of some substances reported to the EU pollutant emission register (EPER) are static or increasing, according to a report from the European Commission.1 Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas has concluded that "member states need to do more to combat industrial pollution."

The report analyses data on releases of 50 air and water pollutants in 2004 from 9,000 sites regulated under the integrated pollution prevention and control Directive. It confirms initial findings published last year (ENDS Report 383, p 22 ).

About one third of pollutants from EU-15 countries have stayed the same or increased compared with 2001 levels - most notably the air pollutants nitrogen oxides, HFCs and methane. Carbon dioxide went up by 5.7%.

Two-thirds of emissions decreased, including dioxins, which fell by 22%. Releases of nitrogen and phosphorus to water fell by 15% and 12% respectively.

The Commission is considering proposals to strengthen the IPPC Directive (ENDS Report 388, pp 26-29 ).

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