The deal, struck late Tuesday, would “reduce harmful emissions from industry and improve public access to information,” the European Council, representing member states, said in a statement.
The lead EU lawmaker on the file, Radan Kanev, said it would “significantly” reduce emissions “without creating further red tape for industries and farmers” while bringing in stiff fines for companies violating it.
The agreement, which still has to be formally adopted, aims to bring down air, soil and water pollution from companies by revising existing rules on emissions and landfill of waste.
It would also update a European pollutant release and transfer register known as E-PRTR.
The parliament noted in a statement that emissions from big agricultural companies can lead to health problems “such as asthma, bronchitis and cancer”.
The updated rules will from 2030 apply to intensive pig farms with more than 350 livestock units — a reference unit that calculates to a total of more than 1,000 pigs, depending on age and size.
It will also apply to poultry farms with more than 300 livestock units of laying hens — or more than 21,400 chickens.
The revised rules would also apply to the industrial mining of ores such as iron, copper, gold, nickel and platinum, and the European Commission may end up including the mining of industrial minerals at a later stage.
Each EU country would be responsible for issuing permits to companies affected by the rules, if they can show they meet relevant standards.
Penalties for violators are designed to reflect the gravity of the infringement, and will include fines ranging to at least three percent of a company’s annual turnover in the EU.
Once the member countries and the European Parliament formally sign off on the agreement, it will come into force three weeks after being published in the EU’s official administrative gazette.
It will be subject to commission review every five years, starting from 2028.