EU plots new limits on industrial air pollution

Many sectors to be challenged by plan for strict ambient air standards for heavy metals, PAHs

Strict and expensive new EU environmental limits on four heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are on the cards under plans for a new air quality directive developed by the European Commission's environment directorate. A wide range of industries will be affected, ranging from iron and steel works to non-ferrous metals production, coal-fired power stations, shipping, oil refineries, cement production and waste incineration.

The directorate's proposal for a fourth daughter directive under the EU's 1996 air quality framework directive has only recently been drafted and is due to be presented to other Commission departments next month. Following initial consultations, some affected industry sectors are already crying foul.

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