UK bill to control industrial pollution comes into force

The Pollution Prevention and Control Bill received Royal Assent last month, paving the way for the introduction of Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) regulation.

Dr Paul Leinster, environmental protection director at the Environment Agency – responsible for implementing IPPC for a substantial number of sites in England and Wales – said: “This is an important milestone. Now that the legislation is on the statute book, there will be marked change in the pace of progress towards implementation.”

The Department of Environment Transport and the Regions (DETR) estimates that 7,000 installations in England and Wales will require permits under IPPC:

  • 2,000 already subject to the existing Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) rules
  • 3,000 from waste sites currently regulated under waste management legislation
  • 2,000 new entrants

Specific production capacity thresholds determine whether an installation falls within the scope of IPPC, with the exception of those serving the chemicals and the pulp and paper industries.

The following sectors undertaken on an industrial scale are automatically covered by the directive:

  • Energy generation
  • Metals production and processing
  • Mineral industry
  • Chemicals industry
  • Waste Management

Other activities covered:

  • Production of pulp, paper and board
  • Fibre/textile pre-treatment
  • Tanning
  • Slaughterhouses
  • Food and milk
  • Animal carcasses
  • Poultry and pigs
  • Surface treatment using organic solvents
  • Carbon production

Installations or parts of installations used for research, development and testing of new products and processes are not covered by IPPC.

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