Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) is a regulatory system that employs an integrated approach to control the environmental impact to air, land and water of emissions arising from industrial activities. It involves determining the appropriate controls for industry to protect the environment through a single permitting process.
(Last updated February 2006)
In the context of the regulations emissions are defined as being the direct or indirect release of substances, vibration, heat or noise from individual or diffuse sources in an installation into the environment.
In order to gain an IPPC permit, operators of industrial sites must show that they have systematically developed proposals to apply the Best Available Techniques (BAT) to pollution prevention and control and that they address other requirements, relevant to local factors.
IPPC has been implemented to meet the following environmental objectives:
IPPC was introduced by the European Community (EC) Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control. In England and Wales the Directive is implemented by the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000, in Scotland it is implemented by the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000), and the Directive is implemented in Northern Ireland by the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.
IPPC applies to specified installations, including both existing and new builds, requiring each operator to obtain a permit from the appropriate regulator. The following industrial sectors are required to hold a permit:
In England and Wales the Environment Agency regulate part A applications and the relevant Local Authority regulate part B applications, in Scotland SEPA regulate all applications and in Northern Ireland the Environment & Heritage Service regulate part A applications with part B application regulated by the Local Authority.
In order to obtain a permit to operate an installation, the operator completes the permit application that demonstrates how they will:
As part of the application process, permit operating conditions are agreed with the regulator and must include:
The operator must also consider the condition of the site at the time of the original application. This will contribute to assessing the need for restoration if the installation closes.
In determining the application, the regulator must be satisfied that the operator has addressed the above points appropriately. It is therefore the operator's responsibility to demonstrate that this is the case.
Once the regulator has issued a permit, the operator of an IPPC installation will have to carry out monitoring to demonstrate compliance with the permit conditions. Regulators will also carry out their own monitoring and inspections, and have a range of enforcement powers.
BAT is defined by the regulations as follows:
"the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for emission limit values designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, generally to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole".
The main way of ensuring compliance is by determining and enforcing permit conditions based on this principal. Using the BAT approach ensures that any cost associated with applying the technology is not excessive in relation to level of environmental protection it provides. As a result the more environmental damage a technology can prevent, the more the regulator can justify telling the operator to spend on it before the costs become prohibitive.
IPPC takes a much wider range of environmental emission into account over the previous Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) system and also applies to a wider range of industries. Previously IPC took into account only emissions to air, land and water whereas IPPC in addition to those already mentioned also looks at resource and energy efficiency, accident prevention and minimisation of other pollutants such as noise, heat and vibrations.
Section 6.8 of the IPPC regulations covers Installations undertaking the following activities (known as main activities):
a)Treating and processing materials intended for the production of food products from
b)Treating and processing greater than 200 tonnes per day of milk (average value on an annual basis)
Additionally, associated activities which have a technical connection to the main activity may also require inclusion in the scope of any application. Associated activities may include:
Additional information can be found on all aspects of the IPPC regime by clicking on the following websites: