Directive 1988/609 - Limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants

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Current status

This directive was in effect from December  8, 1988 until November 26, 2002 and should have been implemented in national regulation on June 30, 1990 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Council Directive 88/609/EEC of 24 November 1988 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 1988/609
Original proposal COM(1983)704
CELEX number i 31988L0609


Key dates

Document 24-11-1988
Publication in Official Journal 07-12-1988; OJ L 336, 7.12.1988,Special edition in Swedish: Chapter 15 Volume 009,Special edition in Finnish: Chapter 15 Volume 009
Effect 08-12-1988; Entry into force Date notif.
End of validity 26-11-2002; Repealed by 32001L0080
Transposition 30-06-1990; At the latest See Art 17
Notification 08-12-1988


Legislative text

Avis juridique important




Council Directive 88/609/EEC of 24 November 1988 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants

Official Journal L 336 , 07/12/1988 P. 0001 - 0013

Finnish special edition: Chapter 15 Volume 9 P. 0027

Swedish special edition: Chapter 15 Volume 9 P. 0027

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE of 24 November 1988 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants (88/609/EEC)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and in particular Article 130 s thereof,

Having regard to the proposals from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinions of the European Parliament(2),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3),

Whereas the 1973(4), 1977(5), 1983(6) and 1987(7) European Communities action programmes on the environment stress the importance of the reduction and prevention of atmospheric pollution;

Whereas in their resolution concerning the action programme on the environment 1987 to 1992, the Council and the Representatives of Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council emphasize the importance for Community action to concentrate as a priority on the reduction at source of air pollution, inter alia by adopting and implementing measures concerning emissions from large combustion plants;

Whereas, moreover, under Decision 81/462/EEC(8), the Community became a Party to the Convention on long-range transboundary air pollution;

Whereas Council Directive 84/360/EEC of 28 June 1984 on the combating of air pollution from industrial plants(9) provides for the introduction of certain procedures and measures aiming to prevent or reduce air pollution from industrial plants, particularly those belonging to listed categories, among which are large combustion plants;

Whereas Article 8 of the same Directive 84/360/EEC stipulates that the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission shall, if necessary, fix emission limit values for new plants based on the best available technology not entailing excessive costs and taking into account the nature, quantities and harmfulness of the emissions concerned; whereas Article 13 thereof stipulates that Member States shall implement policies and strategies, including appropriate measures, for the gradual adaptation of existing plants belonging to listed categories to the best available technology and taking various specified matters into account;

Whereas the damage to the environment owing to air pollution makes it urgent to reduce and control emissions from new and existing large combustion plants and whereas to this end it is necessary to set overall objectives for a gradual and staged reduction of total annual emissions of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen from existing combustion plants and to fix emission limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust in case of new plants, in accordance with the principle set out in Article 8 of the Diretive 84/360/EEC;

Whereas such emission limit values for new plants will need to be reviewed in the light of technological developments and the evolution of environmental requirements, and the Commission will submit proposals to this effect;

Whereas in establishing the overall annual emission ceilings for existing large combustion plants due account has been taken of the need for comparable effort, whilst making allowance for the specific situations of Member States; whereas, in establishing the requirements for the reduction of emissions from new plants, due account has been taken of particular technical and economic constraints in order to avoid excessive costs; whereas in the case of Spain there has been granted a temporary and limited derogation from the full application of the emission limit value of sulphur dioxide fixed for new plants, since that Member State considers it...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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