The installations producing primary and recycled aluminium located in EU27, Norway and Iceland, are operating in compliance with demanding environmental legislation covering emissions to air, discharges to water, handling and storage of waste and of hazardous substances.
As a starting point, the environmental permits are regulated by the IED – Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU, which replaced the previous IPPC Directive 96/61/EC. The IED requires that the Emission Limit Levels set for an installation are based on the sector-specific Best Available Techinques (BAT) and their related performances, described in technical documents called BREFs (BAT Reference). These documents, publicly available, are drafted and regularly revised by a Technical Working Group coordinated by the EU Commission with the participation of Member States, industry experts and environmental NGOs.
EAA, with the support of experts from the member companies, has actively contributed to the definition of the BATs for the production of both primary and recycled aluminium, contained in the Non Ferrous Metals BREF published in 2001 and currently under revision.
In addition to the IED requirements, some installations may fall under the scope of the so-called Seveso Directive on the prevention of major accidents involving dangerous substances, and all of them are directly or indirectly concerned by the provisions of REACH Regulation 1907/2006.
Finally, as of 2013 the aluminium production value chain will enter the EU Emission Trading Scheme for greenhouse gases, with respect to the direct emissions from the installations (see our section climate change).