Subject to the EU directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, member states were required to issue new or updated industrial permits by October 30, 2007, in order to control emissions to air, water and soil.

European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “It is unacceptable that industrial installations are operating without legal permits that ensure they minimize polluting emissions.

“These permitting procedures have been agreed by all member states. To protect the health of our citizens and the environment, they must be respected.”

Denmark, Ireland and Malta have received the first warning letters, while eight other countries will now receive final written warnings.

European Commission legislative measures cover all environmental sectors, including water, air, nature, waste, noise and chemicals, and stress the need for cooperation to ensure regulations are adopted correctly and on time.

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