United Kingdom

UK-6:Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Act

Policy Description

The EU-wide Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive (96/61/EC of 24 September 1996) and subsequent 2008 (2008/1/EC) and 2010 (2010/75/EU) amendments provide a regulatory basis for improving the energy efficiency of, and preventing pollution by, most of the energy-intensive sectors of industry. The IPPC determines the appropriate controls for industry to protect the environment through a single permitting process, including control levels on energy use and CO2 emissions. The requirements apply to industrial sites that account for about 60% of the energy use of the manufacturing industry as well as energy supply industries (e.g. power plants and refineries).

Description

The EU-wide Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive (96/61/EC of 24 September 1996) and subsequent 2008 (2008/1/EC) and 2010 (2010/75/EU) amendments (*1) provide a regulatory basis for improving the energy efficiency of, and preventing pollution by, most of the energy-intensive sectors of industry [1]. The IPPC determines the appropriate controls for industry to protect the environment through a single permitting process, including control levels on energy use and CO2 emissions. The requirements apply to industrial sites that account for about 60% of the energy use of the manufacturing industry as well as energy supply industries (e.g. power plants and refineries).

In the UK, the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Act of 1999 transposes the EU Directive. Regulations for England and Wales came into force on 1August 2000, and regulations for Scotland have also been laid out. If an entity carries out an activity covered by the PPC regime, it must have a PPC permit issued by an environmental regulator or local council demonstrating that the entity complies with the conditions of the permit.

To obtain a permit, operators will have to show that they have systematically developed proposals to apply the "Best Available Techniques" (BAT) and meet certain other requirements, taking account of relevant local factors [2]. Guidance for Best Available Technologies are laid down in Guidance documents  known as BREFs (*2).
The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the EU coordinates the process for establishing a BREF and collects input from all relevant stakeholders. The BREFs cover the use of energy and emissions of CO2, as well as other pollutants, giving environmental regulators the authority to include energy efficiency and CO2 obligations in the permit.

In the UK, most companies that need a permit under the PPC Act have entered into a voluntary agreement with the government under the CCA (see UK-1). To avoid double regulation, regulators and law enforcement agencies allow companies that participate in the Climate Change Agreements and meet their CCA targets to comply with the energy and CO2-related obgliations of the PPC and can obtain permit.

In December 2010, the most recent amendment of the Directive 2010/75/EU was published in the Official Journal. It recasts the old 2008/1/EC IPPC Directive and six other directives in a single directive on industrial emissions (*1). The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 transpose the requirements of the the Directive 2010/75/EU, and these regulations came into force on 27 February 2013.

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: 2000

Policy Linkages

Supports Climate Change Agreements (CCA) Effort Defining
Complements EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Agency
Department of Energy and Climate Change

Primary Objective: Other (environmental)

Objective

Promote the use of "Best Available Techniques (BAT)" in, among others, the field of energy efficiency in various industry sectors

Target Group

Energy industries, production and processing of metals, mineral industry, chemical industry, waste management, and other activities

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

The IPPC applies to about 4000 industrial installations in the UK. These include power generation; manufacturing and other industrial activities (such as refineries and breweries); intensive pig and poultry farming; cement works; activities involving solvents and waste management and the operation of landfill sites [1]

Quantitative Target? no

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? yes

Enforced? yes

Sanctions: Only for business not participating in the CCA/CCL the requirements regarding energy efficiency measures laid down in the permit will be enforced by the permitting authority.

Requirements on the Target Group

The target group needs to show that it complies with the energy efficiency requirements in the PCC environmental permit. When a company participates in a CCA, it has to show the competent authority it is meeting its CCA target, which is accepted as proof that the company has fulfilled the PCC permit requirements.

Support by Government

The Environment Agency provides regulatory and technical guidance to companies such as IPPC Part A(1) Installations, PPC Part A Installations and IPPC Regulatory Guidance Series No.5 (*3)

Implementation Toolbox

  • The most important tools providing support to the implementation of the Pollution Prevention and Control Act requirements are the guidance documents on Best Available Techniques (BAT). These documents are published on the website of IPTS and used by authorities in there permit procedures: http://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference/
  • Environmental Permitting Guidance, published by Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [3]

Complexity of Implementation

Government

The government needs to pay close attention in formulation the requirements, otherwise this can lead to problems regarding enforceability of the permits

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 Not Available
Estimated costs/benefits for industry Average cost to the applicant was over £32,000 (€37,780) with a maximum of £133,000 (€157,000) between 2001 and 2005 [4] (*4)
Estimated cost for government Not Available
Other Benefits
General Benefits Improves efficiency, reduces emissions of other air pollutants

References & Footnotes

References

[1] MURE II Industry, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPCC): http://www.isisrome.com/data/mure_pdf/industry/UK7.PDF

[3] Defra (2009). Environmental Permitting Environmental Permitting Guidance The IPPC Directive Part A(1) Installations and Part A(1) Mobile Plant For the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 Updated October 2009 Version 2.0

[5] Defra (2008). Assessment of the Implementation of the IPPC Directive in the UK, Final Report January 2008, Entec UK Limited: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/pollution/ppc/background/documents/implementation-study.pdf

[4] Defra (2007). Mid-term review of the UK’s implementation of the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations, 2007. Available at http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/pollution/ppc/background/documents/ppcregs-review.pdf

[2] European IPPC Bureau (2012). Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS). http://eippcb.jrc.es/

Footnotes

(*1) The new Directive brings together the Directive 2008/1/EC (the ‘IPPC Directive’) and six other directives in a single directive on industrial emissions. Available at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pollutants/stationary/ippc/index.htm

(*2) BREFs are the main reference documents used by competent authorities in Member States when issuing operating permits for the installations that represent a significant pollution potential in Europe [3].

(*4) It should be noted that these are the costs to comply with all IPPC requirements, so can't be attributed solely to energy efficiency (probably most costs should be attributed to other environmental mitigation options and not energy efficiency).

(*3) IPPC Part A(1) Installations: Guide for (Applicants England and Wales) (includes Preparation of a Site Report in a Permit Application); - PPC Part A Installations: Guide for Applicants (Scotland) (Guidance for SEPA staff on land and groundwater considerations) Guidance for SEPA staff on land and groundwater considerations; - IPPC Regulatory Guidance Series No.5 - Interpretation of “Installation” in the PPC Regulations.

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