EU draws up tougher pollution rules for industry and farms
Band Kate Abnett
BRUSSELS, March 31 (Reuters) – The European Commission wants to tighten EU rules on pollution from industry, targeting intensive farming and the extraction of minerals, including lithium, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
The European Union is revamping its environmental policies across all sectors as it seeks to cut global warming emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels and reduce the degradation of the nature caused by pollution.
Brussels will next week propose an update to EU rules that limit pollution from 52,000 facilities, including power stations, waste treatment facilities, cement factories and livestock farms.
A draft proposal, seen by Reuters, would add cattle farming to the regulations, which require countries to only grant permits to facilities that meet standards, including on waste disposal, and environmental limits. emission for gases including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
More pig and poultry farms would also be covered, including those with at least 125 livestock units – an EU agriculture measure that allocates units to animals based on their species and/or age. The current rules concern farms with more than 40,000 places for poultry, 20,000 for production pigs or 750 for sows.
“The legislative framework provided for in this Directive will contribute to reducing, inter alia, emissions of ammonia, nitrates and greenhouse gases from livestock [livestock]”, says the draft document.
The draft rules could change before they are released on Tuesday. They will have to be negotiated by EU countries and the European Parliament, a process that can take up to two years.
Mining of industrial and metallic minerals would also be added, including cobalt, nickel and lithium. The EU hopes to increase domestic lithium production, to reduce its heavy reliance on imports of the lifeblood of electric vehicle batteries.
Operators whose installations violate the rules will face stiffer penalties, including fines of at least 5-8% of their annual turnover in the country concerned, while governments will be legally bound to ensure that citizens can claim compensation for damages they have suffered as a result of such offences.
The proposal also gives national authorities the power to suspend the operations of an installation that breaches the conditions of its permit, until it complies.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett Editing by Mark Potter)
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