The IPPC Directive (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) aims towards the improvement and harmonisation of EU environmental policies which consist in preventing, from the beginning, the creation of pollution or nuisances rather than having to combat their effects afterwards.
The directive foresees an authorisation procedure which is similar to the operating permit for classified establishments procedure.
The conditions to be met by the businesses concerned have been integrated into the application for the operating permit for classified establishments class 1.
The establishments concerned are those likely to release significant quantities of pollution into the air, water or earth. They are listed:
- in annex III to the law on classified establishments;
- in the column labelled E. ind. of the nomenclature of classified establishments.
In general, this refers to industrial facilities in the following sectors:
- energy industry;
- metal production and processing;
- mineral industry;
- chemical industry;
- waste management.
Establishments falling under the IPPC Directive must submit a standard application for an operating permit for classified establishments class 1 (known as commodo/incommodo authorisation).
Content of the permit
The order regarding the operating permit for classified establishments issued by the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure indicates the limit values for pollutants which are likely to be emitted in larger quantities (namely those indicated in annex I of the law on classified establishments).
These limit values are determined based on the 'Best Available Techniques' (BAT) and are detailed in the 'BREF' documents" published by the European IPPC Committee for each sector. These documents also list, where possible, consumption and emission levels associated with the use of the BAT.
The order also details:
- the provisions relating to minimising pollution in the event of abnormal operating conditions such as start-up, leakage, malfunctioning, brief shut-downs and permanent shut-downs of the installation and;
- the requirements in terms of regular monitoring of the emissions of installations (frequency and method) as well as in terms of the information to be provided to the authorities with respect to the results of said monitoring.
In the case of an installation subject to a greenhouse gas emission permit, the permit issued does not state an emission limit value for direct emissions of greenhouse gas, unless it becomes necessary in order to avoid any significant pollution of the local area.
The permit will be reviewed if:
- the type and/or quantity of the establishment's emissions are such that the emission limit values stated in the order must be reviewed or new limit values must be added;
- the BATs change significantly;
- the safety of the activity in question requires the use of other techniques.