Keywords: Pollution control, Best available techniques.
Environmental awareness is critical and must be central to every company’s activity. It is no longer just a passing phase. The environmental impact of a process must be fully considered both for an existing process and a new process. Changes must be justified against the environmental impact.
We see the UK integrated approach to pollution control being adopted across Europe in the form of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive. So there is a need for more research and resources to improve the quality and technical assessment of environmental impact and action taken in response.
There is a move from a strict regulatory framework, for example as found in the planning system, and water and waste regulation, through the flexible but sophisticated approach of integrated pollution control. We are now seeing voluntary total integrated environmental management as companies appreciate the benefits of environmental commitment.
That also sums up the major thrust of IPC and the essential objectives which it must meet:
– The obligation on the operator to justify his process against the impact on the environment.
– The obligation on HMIP to enforce the Regulations to prevent pollution and to protect the environment.
– The need for public accountability and transparency which generates public confidence.
M G Leach, HM Inspectorate of Pollution, Anglian Region, Bedford, UK.
16 pages, 3 figures.