Netherlands

NL-8:Permits under the Environmental Management Act

Policy Description

The Environmental Management Act [1], the transposition of the IPCC Directive into national legislation, states that every installation having a licensing obligation (*1), has to integrate energy efficiency according to the ALARA principle, i.e. As Low As Reasonably Achievable (*2).

Description

The Environmental Management Act [1], the transposition of the IPPC Directive into national legislation, states that every installation having a licensing obligation (*1), has to integrate energy efficiency according to the ALARA principle, i.e. As Low As Reasonably Achievable (*2). This created the possibility to incorporate energy efficiency requirements into environmental licenses or permits. Companies that participate in the Benchmarking agreement, the LTAs and/or the EU ETS are automatically granted compliance with the relevant energy- or CO2-related requirements of the EMA permits.

 

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Administrative

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Mandatory

Period

Start Date: 1993

Policy Linkages

Complements Long-term Agreement on Energy Efficiency for EU ETS enterprises (LEE) Effort Defining
Complements Long-Term Agreements on Energy Efficiency Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
AgentschapNL

Primary Objective: Other (environmental)

Objective

Create the possibility to incorporate energy efficiency requirements into environmental licenses or permits.

Target Group

All companies requiring an environmental permit

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Energy efficiency

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.

Coverage

-

Quantitative Target? yes

Target: Individually set in permit

Time Period: Individually set in permit

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? yes

Enforced? yes

Sanctions: If requirements under the environmental permit are not met, the competent authority can apply a financial penalty or administrative measures (including closure of the installation).

Requirements on the Target Group

Large industrial businesses are obliged to produce an annual environmental report (MJV) describing the impact of their activities on the environment, and to submit this electronically to the competent authority.

Support by Government

See under Implementation toolbox

Implementation Toolbox

To support the implementation of the permit requirements under the Environmental Management Act, the government provides a website which acts as an on-line helpdesk, where companies can: 

  • check if they need a permit under the environment act,
  • apply on-line for a permit
  • inform the competent authority of relevant changes and check the status of the permit.

Information at https://www.omgevingsloket.nl/DigiDZakelijk/digidzakelijk/home?init=true

Complexity of Implementation

Government

Relatively difficult to establish legally binding energy efficiency requirements as involved authorities lack sufficient knowledge on industrial processes to judge claims regarding the (un) feasibility of measures and the need for more flexibility and lower cost (according to the ALARA principle).

Target Group

Legal requirements leave less flexibility to meet targets at lowest costs.

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions N/A N/A
Estimated costs/benefits for industry N/A N/A
Estimated cost for government N/A N/A
Other Benefits
General Benefits Industry increases its energy efficiency and reduces its CO2 emissions, which provides benefits for the environment and economy
Specific Benefits N/A

References & Footnotes

References

[1] Wet Milieubeheer, Wm http://www.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=24176

[2] MinVrom (2000) MinVrom (2000b). Hoofdrapport project Energie in de Milieuvergunning. Ministerie van Vrom, Den Haag.

[3] CE (2010) Energie in vergunningverlening en handhaving. CE, Delft, 2010

[4] European Commission, Environmental rules: http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/business/doing-business-responsibly/keeping-to-environmental-rules/netherlands/index_en.htm

[5] http://overheidsloket.overheid.nl/index.php?p=product&product_id=1000076

Footnotes

(*1) No need to have an Environmental permit if the installation causes no or only limited environmental damage. A list of installations that need a permit is available and can also be checked online [5]

(*2) ALARA is a common principle in environmental legislation, see also Wet Milieubeheer (Environmental Act), Section 8.11, Subsection 3

(*3) Which organisation act as the competent authority for a company depends on the type and size of the company (as a proxy for the size of the environmental impact). For smaller industrial companies this can be the municipality. For larger industrial companies, this is usually the provincial authority

(*4) Requirements under the environmental permitting procedures are mandatory and determined unilaterally by the competent authority (rather than voluntary and negotiated with industry), and sanctions can be much more stringent than those included in the voluntary agreements.