Waste from extractive industries

Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries provides for measures, procedures, and guidance to prevent or reduce as far as possible any adverse effects on the environment, and any resultant risks to human health, brought about as a result of the management of waste from the extractive industries/1 With some exceptions, such as waste resulting from offshore activities, it covers the management of waste resulting from the prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries, called ‘extractive waste’. (Arts 1 and 2.)

Member States shall ensure that the operator takes all measures necessary to prevent or reduce as far as possible any adverse effects on the environment and human health brought about as a result of the management of extractive waste. This includes the prevention of major accidents and the limiting of their consequences for the environment and human health. The abandonment, dumping, or uncontrolled depositing of extractive waste must be prohibited. (Art 4.)

Operators shall be required to draw up waste management plans for the minimisation, treatment, recovery, and disposal of extractive waste, taking account of the principle of sustainable development.

The Directive complements the Seveso Directive (now Directive 2012/18/EU) by requiring the identification of major accident hazards and the incorporation of necessary features into the design, construction, operation and maintenance, closure, and after-closure of waste facilities in order to prevent and to limit the adverse consequences of such accidents (Art 6).

Prior to the commencement of any operations involving the accumulation or deposit of extractive waste in a waste facility, the competent authority must require a financial guarantee or equivalent so that all obligations under the permit, including after-closure provisions, are discharged and so that there are funds readily available at any given time for the rehabilitation of the land affected by the waste facility (Art 14).

Rules on waste from the titanium dioxide industry were previously laid down in a separate directive but have, since 2014, been integrated into the IED (Directive 2010/75/EU).72

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