The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a consultation on the transposition of the industrial emissions directive in England and Wales.
The Directive requires a wide range of industrial activities to be regulated so as to protect the environment from possible harm from their emissions. The consultation is seeking views on how the requirements of the directive can be successfully transposed into UK law.
The consultation began yesterday (March 12) and will run until June 6 2012.
The main thrust of the directive is to increase the use of “best available techniques” (BATs), an obligation to ensure that industrial operators use the most cost-effective techniques to achieve a high level of environmental protection.
There are seven overlapping directives covering similar activities, which the directive attempts to ‘mould’ into a single piece of legislation, namely: those on integrated pollution prevention and control, large combustion plants, waste incineration, activities using organic solvents and three on titanium dioxide production.
The directive tightens minimum emission limits in certain industrial sectors across the EU – particularly for large combustion plants where progress to reduce pollution is insufficient. It introduces minimum standards for environmental inspections of industrial installations and allows for more effective permit reviews.
It also extends the scope of legislation to cover other polluting activities, such as medium sized combustion plants, thus ensuring that all EU member states receive the same high level of environmental protection.
Environmental Permitting Regulations currently also apply directive requirements to some activities which are not specified in the industrial emissions directive, and Defra will be seeking views on whether that should continue.
The Directive came into force on January 6 2011, and EU member states have until January 7 2012 to transpose the requirements into national law.