The Industrial Emissions Directive and the Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations

Information on the Industrial Emissions Directive including new activities included under the directive, a timetable for member state compliance with the directive, the importance of best Available Techniques, and the pollutant release and transfer register.

About the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)

Directive 2010/75/EU, known as ‘the Industrial Emissions Directive’ has been brought into effect by the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 (the Regulations).

Industrial production processes account for a considerable share of the overall pollution in Europe, for emissions of greenhouse gases and acidifying substances, wastewater emissions and waste. In order to take further steps to reduce emissions from such installations, the European Commission adopted its proposal for a Directive on industrial emissions on 21 December 2007.

As per the Large Combustion Plants (Transitional National Plan) Regulations 2015 and under article 32 of the Directive, Combustion Plants can be part of a 'Transitional National Plan' (TNP) up to June 2020 and still apply the less stringent emission limit values in Annex V (Part 1).

The IED is a recast of the seven previous European Commission Directives covering industrial emissions. A review of these resulted in the merging of the seven existing Directives to ensure clearer environmental benefits and consistent application of Best Available Techniques (BAT)1 across Member States are achieved. Greater emphasis on the role for BAT reference documents (Brefs) is encouraged and there is extended scope and provisions on soil and groundwater protection. IED also promotes cost-effectiveness and encourages technological innovation to help deliver greater environmental benefits.

New activities included under IED

IED brings a number of new activities into integrated control for the first time, as summarised in the table below. Please note that the table below is intended as a guide and that the description in schedule 1 of the Regulations should be read in full in order to establish the activity.

Description

IED section

Section in the Regulations

Notes

Gasification/liquefaction of fuel (other than coal) >20MW

1.4 (b)

1.2A(c)(ii)

N/A

Production of chemicals by biological processing

4.1 – 4.6

4.1A – 4.7A

 

N/A

Disposal of non-hazardous waste>50 tonnes

5.3(a)

5.4A(a)

A broader range of disposal activities are covered including pre treatment prior to incineration treatment of slags and ashes metal shredding

Recovery or recovery and disposal of non-hazardous waste >75tonnes/day

5.3(b)

5.4A(b)

Inclusion of non hazardous waste recovery activities, such as biological treatment (composting) incineration pre-treatment treatment of slag & ashes metal shredding

Anaerobic Digestion (100 tonnes per day threshold applies)

Temporary storage of hazardous waste >50 tonnes

5.5

5.5A(a)

N/A

Underground storage of hazardous waste

5.6

5.5A(b)

N/A

Manufacture of wood panels >600m3/day

6.1(c)

6.1A(c) (NB already prescribed in 2003 Regulations)

N/A

Food and drink production

6.4(b)

6.8A(d)

The threshold for production of food from vegetable raw materials is now based on a production capacity of 300 tonnes per day, increased to 600 tonnes per day if the installation operates no more than 90 days.per year. A formula for the threshold for production from mixed animal and vegetable raw materials has been introduced.

Wood preservation >75m3/day

6.10

6.6A(b)

N/A

Independently operated WWTP discharged by a chapter 2 activity

6.11

6.11

N/A

Compliance

Timetable for Member States’ compliance with the Directive

Deadline Action
7 January 2013 Member States transpose Directive requirements into domestic legislation
7 January 2013 IED applies to all new installations from this date onwards
7 January 2014 IED applies to existing PPC installations
7 July 2015 IED applies to existing installations operating newly prescribed PPC activities
1 January 2016 Existing large combustion plants must meet the specific requirements set out in Chapter III and Annex V of IED

Brefs and BAT conclusions

One of the main aims of the Commission is to ensure more consistent application of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and to this end the BAT Reference Documents are being republished with a greater emphasis on outcomes known as BAT Conclusions and Associated Emission Limits (AELs). Permits must be revised to reflect the requirements of the BAT Conclusions and installations must comply with these requirements within 4 years of publication of BAT conclusions.

Pollutant release and transfer register

Member States are obliged to make returns to the European Commission covering releases of key substances listed in the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) from installations described in Annex 1 of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. Certain other Installations prescribed under the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) Regulations must also complete a return to the E-PRTR.

Relevant installations are required to complete a Pollution Inventory form annually:

The Department for Enterprise, Food and Rural Affairs., on behalf of the United Kingdom, have a UK PRTR site where additional information on the 2008 NACE codes and annual UK releases are available:

Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (the PPC Regulations)

Some industrial processes and activities can cause harm to the surrounding environment. These activities must operate under a permit issued by the relevant government regulator.

Some permits contain conditions which reduce and control the potential for harm from these emissions to air, water and land. Other permits only control emissions to air. Operators of these activities must use the Best Available Techniques (BAT) to control and manage the risk of pollution.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 (PPC(IE)) Regulations and the relevant amending Regulations are available below:

For your convenience the Department has produced an unofficial consolidated version of the Regulations. This consolidated version can be obtained by contacting the Air and Environmental Quality Unit.

The Regulators

The Industrial Pollution and Radiochemical Inspectorate (IPRI) of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) regulate the generally larger and potentially more polluting Part A and B Activities.

Register of Part A and Part B activities

District Councils regulate smaller installations (Part C installations) for emission to air only. These include dry cleaners, petrol stations and some car re-spraying yards. Details of your local council can be found at the link below:

Which EU Directives are enforced through the PPC Regulations?

The PPC (IE) Regulations (as amended) convert the requirements of the following Directives into Northern Ireland legislation.

  • the Industrial Emissions Directive which establishes a general EU-wide framework for the control of the main industrial activities, to help to control and limit pollution
  • parts of the Petrol Vapour Directives which aim to avoid the release of petrol vapour when filling petrol station underground tanks and when filling vehicle petrol tanks
  • parts of the Energy Efficiency Directive which requires installations which produce alot of waste heat to investigate the benefits of transporting the waste heat to heat users nearby
  • the Medium Combustion Plant Directive which requires controls on  emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust from Medium Combustion Plants (“MCPs”). An MCP is a combustion plant with a rated thermal input equal to or greater than 1 megawatt but less than 50 megawatts.

Directions

Directions can be issued by the Department to instruct the regulators to do various things. The Directions issued by the Department on PPC are shown below.

 1Best Available Techniques

“Best” means most effective at protecting the environment as a whole.

“Available techniques” means developed on a scale which allows use in a particular industrial sector, under technically and economically viable conditions. This takes into account the costs and advantages, ensuring that they are feasible for the operator.

“Techniques” includes both the technology used and the way in which an installation is designed, built, maintained, operated and decommissioned

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