National Farmers Union claims victory over pollution controls

The European Parliament is scrapping extensions to the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) Directive thanks to lobbying by the National Farmers Union (NFU).

The NFU described the decision “a significant victory” which it claimed the proposed extended legislation “could have severely impacted on small pig and poultry units”.

A series of amendments have been agreed to proposed changes first mooted by European Commission to the IPPC Directive in 2007.

An agreement was reached on 7 July (Wednesday) during a vote in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg

The original proposals would have reduced thresholds for laying hens, ducks and turkeys, impacting on smaller family farms, it is said, as well as bringing in many more pig farms and horticulture businesses into the Directive.

It would have also extended the control of the IPPC into off-site manure spreading.

The frequency of inspections for installations posing the lowest risk have now been expanded to a maximum of three years which should mean significant savings on the ongoing cost of permits, the NFU added.

Chief environmental adviser Dr Diane Mitchell said: “We have remained totally focused and committed to ensuring that the bureaucracy and cost of this burdensome Directive was minimised for those who unfortunately fell under its control.”

The IPPC was adopted by EU member countries in 1996 as a set of common rules for permitting and controlling industrial installations.

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