Working Group 3 - Air Pollution

The Air Pollution Working Group is an expert group focused on connecting European environmental prosecutors and establishing specialist resources on the prosecution of air pollution crimes.  The group was originally chaired by Lorna Dempsey of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and from November 2018 by Christos Naintos and Lina Chatziathanasiou. Dr Horst Buther representing our colleagues at IMPEL, joined the group as a specialist member (non-prosecutor) in early 2019.

Air pollution is a triple problem; shortening the lives of humans, damaging natural ecosystems we depend on and changing the world’s climate. 90% of Europeans living in cities are exposed to levels of air pollutants which the WHO deem damaging to health.

Our members are:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dragana Lipovcic)
  • Bulgaria (Victor Tartchev)
  • Cyprus (Lina Chatziathanasiou)
  • Greece (Christos Naintos)
  • Ireland (Lorna Dempsey, Aisling Kelly)
  • Romania (Teodor Nita)
  • Scotland, UK (Gillian Higgins & Karen Berry)
  • Germany (Dr Horst Buther - Specialist)

Air pollution crimes mainly consist of cases involving breaches of industrial emissions from factories or odour prosecutions. These can be stand alone prosecutions, or may cross over into waste cases, illegal dumping, manufacturing, pollution affecting the food chain or water supply. Air 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 or who wish to work in this area, so as to build the network and equip us all.


Key Areas

Industrial Emissions

Odour prosecution

Final Report now available - August 2020

The Final Report for LIFE-ENPE Working Group 3 as 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) has been working hard to develop key training outputs from its work over the last three years. In addition to the workshop in Nicosia last year (29 March 2019), the group has 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 [email protected]

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