Brussels extends scope of forthcoming VOC controls

The list of industries facing control under a forthcoming EC Directive on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been extended in the latest draft proposal prepared by the European Commission. The new text also contains substantial changes to earlier provisions dealing with solvent management plans and emission limits. But there are fears that it could stifle the development of low-solvent coatings because businesses would be able to use these only for a short period before being forced to install VOC abatement equipment.

The legislation being drafted by the Commission is still some way from being issued as a formal proposal. An initial draft was circulated to Member States at the end of last year (ENDS Report 202, pp 36-8). A revised version was discussed at meetings with industrial representatives and national officials early in April.

The revised version is similar in structure to its predecessor. The main text contains a series of general provisions, t

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