A forum chaired by the European Commission under the EU’s IPPC industrial pollution directive has agreed three new guidelines, known as "BREFS", on how to apply best available techniques (BAT) in specific fields. Under the directive thousands of industrial installations must apply BAT for environmental protection by October 2007. Any new plants built now must already do so.
The three BREFS agreed at the meeting cover storage of bulk or dangerous materials, operation of large combustion plants, and economics and cross-media effects - dealing essentially with how to balance different environmental impacts and how to balance all environmental impacts with economic issues. Each requires political endorsement by the European Commission but is now substantially complete.