Guide

Pollution incidents and environmental damage

EU water and soil protection legislation

There are laws and regulations in place to protect and improve the quality of water and soil in the European Union (EU).

EU water protection legislation

If your business uses water in industrial processes, creates marine pollution, or discharges substances into water, you should be aware of EU regulations.

There are also special measures to protect water in at-risk areas. For example, in Sweden they are trying to reduce the high concentration of mercury in their water, so there are special laws for industrial processes.

EU soil protection legislation

Soil quality is often overlooked when it comes to environmental issues, but it is extremely important. Soil is involved in the production of our food and fuel, the lifecycles of many minerals and the water cycle. Soil is often contaminated, too acidic or the top layer is eroded away.

Before you discharge any detergents or chemicals into soil you must find out about both EU and national laws on soil protection.

Enterprise Europe Network pollution prevention advice

You can get advice on an individual EU country's pollution prevention laws through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). This is a network of business advice partner organisations across the EU, with the Northern Ireland branch hosted within Invest Northern Ireland.