New European Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (EU)

A further stage is reached yesterday in the creation of a new EU Directive to amend the existing Directive on this topic to introduce stricter limits on exposure values and skin notations for five carcinogens as well as skin notations independently of limit values for two more carcinogens, covering seven carcinogens in total.

The carcinogenic and mutagenic substances covered by the directive are the following: Mineral Oils that have been used before in internal combustion engines, certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) mixtures, trichloroethylene, 4,4′-methylenedianiline, epichlorohydrine, ethylene dibromide, ethylene dichloride. 

The European Commission had submitted in January 2017 the proposed revision which concerns in particular annexes I and III of directive 2004/37/EC. 

The retained limit values are based on an analysis of economic, social and environmental impacts of the different policy options for each chemical agent, on the criteria of the scientific advice of the scientific committee on occupational exposure limits (SCOEL), effectiveness, efficiency and coherence. 

The limit values were also agreed by the advisory committee on health and safety at work (ACSH). 

This revision follows an earlier Commission proposal which already included 13 carcinogenic agents.

A further package of proposed limit values is expected to be adopted by the Commission at the beginning of next year. 

The current documents are found here

Exiting the EU (UK & EU)

Further developments yesterday and today are set out below :

(1) the UK will also exit the European Economic Area (EEA) – this involves Article 127 of the EEA Agreement – a White Paper is expected on this. This is in addition to exiting the EU and Euratom.

(2) the European Parliament issued a draft Motion for a Resolution on the negotiations with the United Kingdom – this document is here.

(3) the European Council issued draft Guidelines for the negotiations, these were issued to 27 Member States and will be finalised at the EU27 meeting on 29th April – these Guidelines are here (curtesy of the Irish state broadcaster RTE).

On foot of these further developments, Email Alerts to subscribers to Cardinal Environment Limited EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists will be sent on Monday.

Carcinogens & Mutagens (EU Law)

An amendment to European Directive 2004/37/EC (Carcinogens and Mutagens) is expected to be adopted in February 2017. This amendment will set exposure limits for a further 11 carcinogens in addition to those covered by the existing 2004 directive. These are: 

* respirable crystalline silica dust

* 1,2-Epoxypropane

* 1,3-Butadiene

* 2-Nitropropane

* acrylamide

* certain chromium (VI) compounds

* ethylene oxide

* o-toluidine

* refractory ceramic fibres

* Bromoethylene

* Hydrazine

The amendment will also revise the limits for vinyl chloride monomer and hardwood dusts in the light of more recent scientific data. 

There will be minimum requirements for eliminating and reducing all carcinogens and mutagens. In line with the existing 2004 Directive, Employers will have to identify and assess risks to workers who are associated with exposure to specific carcinogens (and mutagens), and prevent exposure where risks exist. 

Substitution by a non or less-hazardous process or chemical agent will be required where this is technically possible. 

Email Alerts will be sent out. The Amendment proposal is here

National Emission Ceilings Directive (EU)

National emission ceilings are limits for total emissions of certain air pollutants that have to be respected by Member States. The existing Directive on national emission ceilings covers limits for 2010 onwards. These ceilings have helped reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide (the cause of acid rain), ammonia, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (pollution from solvents, road vehicles, household heating and power generation systems) in recent years. The existing Directive is implemented in respect of point sources of air pollution, via air pollution permits or environmental permits that address air in individual Member States (local legislation). 

However, the EU is still not reaching its long-term air quality objectives.

The European Commission’s proposed replacement Directive introduces stricter national emission ceilings. It also proposes new controls on methane and particulate, not covered by the existing Directive.

The current Directive (Directive 2001/81/EC) will apply to 2019. New national commitments for 6 pollutants were proposed to apply from 2020 and 2030. The 6 pollutants were sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, methane, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds.

On 30 June 2016, the Council and the European Parliament reached provisional agreement. This agreement (for the new NEC Directive) will set new national limits for 5 (not 6) pollutants. Methane is dropped. The national limits for 2020 to 2029 are the same as Member States are already comitted to in the revised UNECE Gothenburg Protocol. New stricter limits from 2030 are now agreed.

The European Parliament will vote in the Autumn, adoption is expected by the end of 2016. 

Information is found here.

Once enacted, the new NEC Directive will be loaded into subscriber websystems, those with PPC/Multimedia Registers. Please email or reply to this post if you want the new NEC Directive loaded into your websystem.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (EU)

European Directive 2014/52/EU amends the existing European EIA Directive, effective 15 May 2014.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment Tailored EHS Legislation Registers have this amendment loaded as part of their consolidated EU law (where they have the EIA Directive).

Member States have until 16 May 2017 to implement the revision. Email Alerts will be sent out when local law changes. (Remember as a European Directive, it is not binding within a Member State until the local law changes).

The amendment is intended to lighten unnecessary administrative burdens and make it easier to assess potential impacts, without weakening existing environmental safeguards.

The EU guidance lists seven things that the new directive does differently:

– Simplification: EIA procedures must be simplified by member states;
– Timeframes: these are introduced for some stages e.g. screening decisions;
– Screening: asking whether EIA is required is simplified;
– Reports: environmental statements are renamed EIA reports and must be made more understandable;
– Quality and content: EIA reports are to be improved and conflicts of interest avoided;
– Decisions: application decisions must be clear and transparent and timeframes may be introduced (i.e. optionally);
– Monitoring: projects with significant effects on the environment must be monitored

This is a presentation which gives greater detail.

EU 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies

23 October 2014: EU leaders agreed the domestic 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40% compared to 1990 – together with the other main building blocks of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy – as proposed by the European Commission in January 2014.

This 2030 policy framework also sets a target of at least 27% for renewable energy and energy savings by 2030.

Current targets are known as the “20-20-20” targets.

Three key objectives for 2020:
* a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels;
* raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%;
* a 20% improvement in the EU’s energy efficiency.

These targets are enacted through the climate and energy package (a set of EU laws) in 2009.

The EU is also offering to increase its emissions reduction to 30% by 2020 if other major economies in the developed and developing worlds commit to undertake their fair share of a global emissions reduction effort. The European Commission has published a Communication analysing the options for moving beyond a 20% reduction by 2020 and assessing the risk of “carbon leakage“.

Further information on the EU 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy is found here.

Proposal to Increase Waste Recycling Rates (EU)

COM/2014/0397 is a proposal (adopted European Commission 2 July 2014) to increase recycling rates in the existing Landfill Directive, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, the Batteries and Accumulators Directive, the WEEE Directive and the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive.

Key elements:

* Recycling and preparing for re-use of municipal waste to be increased to 70 % by 2030;
* Recycling and preparing for re-use of packaging waste to be increased to 80 % by 2030, with material-specific targets set to gradually increase between 2020 and 2030 (to reach 90 % for paper by 2025 and 60% for plastics, 80% for wood, 90% of ferrous metal, aluminium and glass by the end of 2030);
* Phasing out landfilling by 2025 for recyclable (including plastics, paper, metals, glass and bio-waste) waste in non hazardous waste landfills – corresponding to a maximum landfilling rate of 25%;
* Measures aimed at reducing food waste generation by 30 % by 2025;
* Introducing an early warning system to anticipate and avoid possible compliance difficulties in Member States;
* Promoting the dissemination of best practices in all Member States, such as better use of economic instruments (e.g. landfill/incineration taxes, pay-as-you-throw schemes, incentives for municipalities) and improved separate collection;
* Improving traceability of hazardous waste;
* Increasing the cost-effectiveness of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes by defining minimum conditions for their operation;
* Simplifying reporting obligations and alleviating burdens faced by SMEs;
* Improving the reliability of key statistics through harmonised and streamlined calculation of targets;
* Improving the overall coherence of waste legislation by aligning definitions and removing obsolete legal requirements.

COM 2014 (397) is here.

COM 2014 (397) annexes are here.