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axhl Feb 16, 2020 09:41 PM
Part of a student project, I am trying to get access to aggregated data.
I was wondering if it is possible to know the number of sites that have an authorisation to reject water/effluent in the environment. Also to understand how many sites have to follow limits on heavy metals contents on the effluent they are rejecting.

Thank you
Replies (3)
EEA Feb 20, 2020 12:19 PM
Dear M. 'Axhl',

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).
We acknowledge receipt of your message and will get back to you as soon as possible.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
EEA Feb 27, 2020 02:33 PM
Dear M. 'Axhl',

The Industrial emission directive (IED) is the key reference document behind your questions since it stipulates the need for an operating permit and lays down various minimum standards for Member States to comply with when granting permits. Please see:[…]:2010:334:0017:0119:en:PDF. In addition, there are Best Available Techniques and BREF documents that set specific minimum conditions for individual processes. Please see: The answers to your questions are therefore to be found at Member States’ level in the permits they grant(ed).

Note that, with the EU Registry on Industrial Sites, the EEA is currently building an inventory of where all these permits can be found. The first release of this product is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020. At the moment, it is of course possible to use the E-PRTR database to search for companies that release pollutants to water or transfer them in wastewater. But it will only contain facilities with an activity in the scope of the E-PRTR Regulation, which is slightly different from IED, and release/transfer pollutants above a certain threshold (to be found in the E-PRTR Regulation). Please see:

Note that the Water Framework Directive is also a guidance for permitting sets standards for water quality, through daughter directives the Environmental Quality Standards Directive 2008/105/EC (as amended in 2013) and the Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC (as amended in 2014).

As references to existing EEA products related to your field of interest, you may found it useful to consult:

- EEA report: Industrial waste water treatment – pressures on EU’s environment:[…]/industrial-waste-water-treatment-pressures

- EEA Indicators:
EEA indicator ‘Urban waste water treatment’:[…]/urban-waste-water-treatment-assessment-4
EEA indicator ‘Industrial pollution in Europe’:[…]/assessment

- EEA Article on industrial pollution in Europe – Heavy metal pollution:[…]/heavy-metal-pollution

- EEA report: Mercury in Europe’s environment – A priority for European and global action:[…]/mercury-in-europe-s-environment

We hope that this may be useful to your project.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
axhl Feb 27, 2020 02:37 PM
Dear EEA Enquiry Service,
Thank you very much for your very detailed answer.
It's extremely appreciated.

Kind regards