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Decree Law No. 39/2018

Publication: Republic Diary No. 111/2018, Series I of 2018-06-11
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 39/2018
  • Pages: 2438 - 2460

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law:

  • introduces into Portuguese law the European directive (EU) 2015/2193 on the pollution from fuels burnt in medium combustion plants
  • changes some rules on the environmental licensing procedure and the issuing of the environmental permit.
What will change?

A single decree-law will gather the rules on:

  • prevention and control of pollution released into the atmosphere
  • medium combustion plants.

1. Limits will be set for certain pollutants resulting from the burning of fuels in various industrial facilities and activities, including medium combustion plants, such as:

  • sulphur dioxide
  • nitrogen oxides
  • dusts.

Medium combustion plants are facilities with more than 1 MW and less than 50 MW, regardless of the fuel they use.

2. Rules will be established to control emissions from industrial facilities and activities, including medium combustion plants.

A license will be required to carry out activities that can generate pollutant emissions from the burning of fuels in medium combustion plants (the air emission permit). There will be a system for monitoring and verifying if the necessary requirements for this license are being met.

The air emissions permit (TEAR — Título de Emissões para o Ar) is a permit for a company to carry out an activity that puts a lot of pollutants into the air.

3. The air emissions permit (TEAR) will be included in the Environmental Licensing Regime, which simplifies environmental licensing procedures and regulates the issuing of the environmental permit.

4. The rules of this decree-law will not apply to combustion plants up to 1 MW (small enterprises).

5. A system will be created specifically for companies that emit pollutants into the air to ensure they communicate the data related to their activity. This information will be submitted through an online portal where all companies communicate their data in the same way.

This will create a single registry for pollutant emissions with better information based on predefined requirements that are the same for all companies.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to:

  • reduce pollution and its risk to human health and the environment
  • clarify which rules apply to the prevention and control of atmospheric emissions as a whole
  • reduce costs
  • free small enterprises from these rules.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect on 1 July 2018.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.