Working Group - Pollution

The Pollution Working Group is an expert group focused on connecting European environmental prosecutors and establishing specialist resources on the prosecution of pollution crimes.

Pollution is a triple problem; shortening the lives of humans, damaging natural ecosystems we depend on and changing the world’s climate. This working group is focussed on assisting prosecutors in their operational activities in bringing those responsible for pollution to justice. This includes pollution arising in a variety of settings and affecting different media such as air, land and water


Pollution crimes often consist of cases involving breaches of emissions (to air, land and/ or water) from factories or other premises. These can be stand alone prosecutions, or may cross over into waste cases, illegal dumping, manufacturing, pollution affecting the food chain or water supply. Pollution cases have even involved corruption in public office, bribery, fraud, competition law and consumer protection. It is an evolving area of environmental crime and we hope to connect with all of the European prosecutors working in this area. Furthermore, pollution crime has been evident in the theatre of war and has been noted in recent conflict situations. With the recognition of Ecocide as a criminal activity in the EU, it is important the group closely monitor the changing legislative landscape in this critical area of environmental crime

Support from this Working Group could comprise: • Capacity building/ training; • Advisory Mission/ committees (i.e. a small specialist group attending and addressing specific topics); • Technical guidance/ presentations (translated accordingly), based on historic/ hypothetical cases (e.g. Seveso; Fukishima) similar to those being reported in countries where support is needed. This group builds on the work of the LIFE-ENPE Air Pollution Working Group (2015-2021) which provided key outputs for the LIFE-ENPE Project. For more details on this, including outputs available for downloading, please see below.


Key Areas covered by the LIFE-ENPE Project Air Pollution Working Group

Industrial Emissions

Odour prosecution

LIFE-ENPE Air Pollution Working Group Final Report - August 2020

The Final Report for LIFE-ENPE Working Group 3 has been published and is available as a pdf below. The report includes details of all of the groups activities since December 2017 as well as details of all outreach activities including awareness raising and training materials. 

Training materials

The LIFE-ENPE Air pollution Working Group (WG3) developed key training outputs from its work over the duration of the project. In addition to the workshop in Nicosia, Cyprus (29 March 2019), the group developed a summary presentation focussed on prosecuting air pollution crimes with particular reference to the applicable EU Directives and the scientific techniques and terms used in such cases.

The training presentation is included below for downloading as part of the LIFE-ENPE WG3 outreach activities.


Reference material and EU legislation

1.         EEA, 2017, Air Quality in Europe - 2017 report, European Environment Agency


2.         EEA, 2015a, Air quality in Europe — 2015 report, EEA Report No 5/2015, European Environment Agency (


3.         EU, 1994, Directive 94/63/EC of 20 December 1994 on the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations (OJ L 365, 20.12.2014, p. 24–33) (CELEX:31994L0063)


4.         EU, 1997, Directive 97/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1997 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to measures against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery (OJ L 059 , 27.02.1998, pp. 1–86) (CELEX: 31997L0068).


5.         EU, 2001, Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants (OJ L 309, 27.11.2001, p. 22–30) (CELEX 32001L0081)


6.         EU, 2002, Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2002 laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme (OJ L 242, 10.9.2002, p. 1–15) (CELEX 32002D1600)


7.         EU, 2003, Directive 2003/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 March 2003 amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels (OJ L 76, 22.3.2003, p. 10–19) (CELEX:32003L0017)


8          EU, 2004, Directive 2004/107/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 relating to arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air (OJ L 23, 26.1.2005, pp. 3–16) (CELEX: 32004L0107)


9.         EU, 2008, Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (OJ L 152, 11.6.2008, pp. 1–44) (CELEX: 32008L0050)


10.       EU, 2009a, Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC (OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, pp. 88–113) ( OJ:L:2009:140:0088:0113:EN:PDF)


11.       EU, 2009b, Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign References Air quality in Europe (OJ L 285, 31.10.2009, pp. 10–35) (CELEX: 32009L0125)


12.       EU, 2009c, Directive 2009/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on Stage II petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of motor vehicles at service stations (OJ L 285, 31.10.2009, pp. 36–39) (CELEX: 32009L0126)


13.       EU, 2010a, Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (OJ L 334, 17.12.2010, pp. 17–119) (CELEX: 32010L0075)


14.       EU, 2010b, Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, pp. 13–35) (CELEX:32010L0031)


15.       EU, 2013, Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 'Living well, within the limits of our planet' (OJ L 354, 20.12.2013, pp. 171–200) (CELEX:32013D1386)


16.       EU, 2015, Directive (EU) 2015/2193 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plants (OJ L 313, 28.11.2015, pp. 1–19) (CELEX:32015L2193)



Coming soon


Shaun Robinson; ENPE Project Manager; ENPE

For more details on the Working Group, including recent activities presentations, please see the interim reports below.