IPPC "transitional" guidance revised

The Environment Agency has published revised versions of its guidance on the transition of new and existing installations into the integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) regime, and on how "substantial change" is to be determined. 1

Installations will be phased into the regime according to a timetable in the IPPC regulations (ENDS Report 303, pp 37-38 ) - but many sites are multi-activity and could therefore fall into different slots in the timetable.

The guidance says that multi-activity installations may be brought under IPPC either according to the earliest relevant period or according to the primary activity. Thus a power station with an on-site landfill could be brought in by March 2006 for the combustion activity or earlier because of the landfill. An operator will have to apply to the Agency if he wants the date for the primary activity to apply.

Also of interest are the provisions on "substantial change" - where an installation is altered so that it may have a significant negative environmental impact.

Such a change to an "existing installation" - one operating before 31 October 1999 and not yet regulated under an IPPC permit - may trigger an earlier entry into the regime than set out in the phase-in timetable. However, there is scope, the guidance says, for the operator and the regulator to agree whether IPPC will apply just to the substantially changed part or to the whole installation.

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