Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) details

Prescribed Processes and Substances

Best Available Techniques (BAT)

Implementation Timetable

Prescribed Processes and Substances

IPPC will apply to "installations" rather than "processes". These are listed in Annex I of the Directive and fall into the same broad categories as IPC. The list is not as detailed or comprehensive as the IPC list, but suggests that IPPC will require some extension to the application of IPC. For example, IPPC will apply to all processes included in the Annex and will not allow for exclusion where the release of prescribed substances is trivial. In addition, some of the size exclusions for IPC will not apply under IPPC. For example, IPPC will apply to all plants manufacturing chemical pesticides, compared to IPC which applies only to plants likely to release prescribed substances to water.

As for IPC, IPPC requires that releases of certain substances which are prescribed for each media and listed in an Annex to the Directive are prevented, or where that is not possible, minimised. The list for air is similar to that for IPC. However, for water and land, where IPC lists specific substances, IPPC will apply to the broad groups of dangerous/hazardous substances defined, respectively, in the Dangerous Substances Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive. IPPC will also require that Best Available Technology (BAT) be used to reduce the release of energy and of substances "with a bearing on global pollution problems". These approaches will require that the release of a much broader range of substances must be prevented, or if that is not possible, minimised by the use of BAT, thus tightening the present requirements on a wide range of substances.

In addition, IPPC requires that materials and substances generated in the installation must be recovered and recycled wherever possible.


As IPPC applies to installations rather than to processes, it anticipates a single authorisation for an installation irrespective of the number of processes operated.

The information required in an application for authorisation is broadly similar to that for an IPC authorisation, but there are areas of discrepancy. For example:

IPPC applications must include information on energy use, raw material consumption and opportunities for recycling or re-using materials. These will be taken into account when assessing BAT;

IPPC applications must also include details about the decommissioning of the installation; however,

IPPC applications will not have to include detailed programmes for continued improvements and investment plans.

Best Available Techniques (BAT)

Best Available Techniques (BAT), in the context of IPPC, must be practically suitable, industrially feasible (both from a technical and an economic point of view) and proven at a scale which allows for its implementation in the relevant industrial context. The economic element of IPC's BATNEEC is therefore retained in IPPC within the concept of 'available'. BAT under IPPC will have a broader scope and take into account use of raw materials and energy consumption as well as emission reduction.

Early drafts of the Directive suggested BAT would be set in EU "daughter" Directives. However, in line with subsidiarity, the Directive allows each member state to define BAT separately, taking into account guidance on BAT published by the European Commission. Member states will be required to submit reports to Brussels every three years on the definition of BAT being applied to each industrial sector. Every permit will contain an implied condition that BAT will be used even where this is not specifically stated in the permit.

In order to ensure that there is some harmonisation of approaches across the EU, the European Commission, via the IPPC Centre in Seville, is preparing BAT Reference Notes (BREFs) for each of the industrial sectors covered by IPPC. These will function in a similar manner to the UK's present IPC Guidance Note approach (Chief Inspector's Guidance Notes, Series 2. 1993 ff).

Implementation Timetable

Member states have to ensure that all the industrial activities listed in Annex I to the Directive are controlled by IPPC permits three years after the Directive's entry into force, i.e September 1999. The Directive was adopted under Article 130 of the Maastricht Treaty and, therefore, member states will be able to maintain stricter national standards if they so choose.

The Government issued its third consultation paper on the implementation of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive in December 1998. The Government has decided to implement the IPPC Directive as primary legislation and accompanying Regulations. Consequently, the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Bill was introduced into the House of Lords on 30 November 1998, giving the Secretary of State the power to:

repeal Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and replace it with a single pollution regime, bringing under the new system those IPC and LAAPC processes not caught by the Directive; and

apply key IPPC concepts such as Best Available Techniques (BAT) to all installations covered by the new regime, rather than the IPC/LAAPC regimes continuing to operate with the concept of Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEEC).

The second consultation paper outlined a number of options for the involvement of English and Welsh local authorities in IPPC Regulation. The favoured option was for the division of regulatory responsibilities between local authorities and the Environment Agency. The current paper gives more detail on how this partnership will work. Local authorities would retain regulatory responsibilities for the bulk of the 1,500 IPPC installations they currently control under the LAAPC regime, as well continuing to regulate emissions to air from the 11,500 non-Directive processes. The Environment Agency will regulate all other IPPC installations. However, the Government recognises that local authorities lack the expertise of the Environment Agency regarding the regulation of polluting emissions to water. The Agency will, therefore, act as a statutory consultee for the IPPC permits issued by the local authorities.