UK adopts European industrial pollution control regime

A new regime for controlling and preventing emissions from industry began operation on 1 August, and will bring the UK in line with the European Commission Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control.

The new Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regime is based on existing UK legislation, and as such requires only an amendment to the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, rather than a new parliamentary bill, a DETR spokesperson explained to edie.

Part One of the 1990 Act established two pollution control regimes, both of which will be progressively replaced by the new PPC: the existing Integrated Pollution Control (IPC), under which the Environment Agency regulates emissions of 2000 large polluting industrial processes; and the Local Air Pollution Control (LAPC), under which local authorities regulate emissions to air of around 21 000 smaller industrial processes. The new IPPC legislation will also require regulators to take account of noise, energy efficiency, waste, accident prevention and site restoration.

New installations, and those undergoing a substantial change which has a significant negative effect on the environment, will need a PPC permit before they begin operation, or before the change is made. Existing installations will be phased into the new regime between now and 2007.

“The new Pollution Prevention and Control regime ushers in a new era in industrial pollution control,” said UK Environment Minister, Michael Meacher. “It will enable us to control industrial emissions more effectively because we will be considering all of the environmental impacts of an installation – including noise, waste, and energy efficiency – together. PPC also extends this control to a larger number of industrial installations.”

“The new regime is the result of a comprehensive consultation process with industry, regulators, environmental groups and other interested parties,” said Meacher. “I look forward to seeing this spirit of constructive co-operation continuing through to its implementation.”

The Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1973), are available from the Stationery Office (HMSO) website, or by calling 0870 600 5522.

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