Keywords: Environment, Europe, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, IPPC, Regulation, Fertiliser production.
The European Union Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control has been adopted with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of industrial installations by the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT).
The Directive requires operators of relevant industrial installations to apply for a permit that will contain conditions relating to the control and management of environmental emissions.
This paper discusses the requirements for a permit application, primarily from a United Kingdom perspective and concentrating on the potential impact on the fertiliser industry.
There has been a tendency for environmental legislation regulating industry to address individual aspects of operation in isolation, although this is changing with the introduction of regulations designed to provide more integrated control of industrial processes and their emissions. This approach has led to the European Union (EU) adopting Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC).
The conditions of the directive are currently being transcribed into primary legislation within EU Member States, the requirement being that installations must be operated under permit from the relevant environmental regulator. New installations are required to be operated under a permit immediately, while permitting of existing installations is being introduced under a phased programme.
The Directive requires operators of industrial installations to take appropriate measures to avoid pollution to the environment as a whole through the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT), although an important aspect is the environmental impact of emissions. Should an installation be operated to indicative BAT standards but still have emissions that cause a significant environmental effect there is a likelihood that the operator will have to make improvements over and above BAT.
This paper summarises the development of this European legislation, catalogues the basic requirements and examines the potential implications for the fertiliser industry. Although primarily viewed from a United Kingdom (UK) perspective, the observations should be relevant to operators of industrial processes within all EU countries and elsewhere where this type of regulation is likely to be developed.
Peter D Rees BA, MSc, Terra Nitrogen (UK) Limited, Stockton-on-Tees, UK
24 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, 17 references.