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New rules strengthen the provisions already in force and reduce industrial emissions throughout the European Union.

According to the Commission, the new proposals will bring significant health and environmental benefits and help create a more level playing field across the EU.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas explained: “Industrial emissions in the European Union remain too high and are having detrimental effects on human health and the environment.

“Clearer and stricter rules are needed to ensure that industrial installations comply with the necessary high environmental standards across the EU. The EU must ensure that companies meet their obligations and use the best available techniques.”

The main aim of the new rules is to increase the use of “best available techniques” (BATs).

A recent report from Forfas, Ireland’s national policy and advisory board for enterprise and technology, showed that businesses used more renewable energy in 2006 than ever before.

James Cooper

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