Chemicals sector poses IPC's toughest test so far

HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) is facing probably its biggest test yet with a wave of applications to register existing chemical processes for integrated pollution control (IPC). Confusion over the rules for defining process boundaries has continued right up to the last minute - while moves by some chemical companies to test HMIP's implementation of the system to breaking point are opening up a rift in the industry.

Operators of existing organic chemical processes had to apply for authorisation by the end of October. HMIP is expecting more than 1,000 applications from the chemicals sector alone over the next year, easily doubling the number it has received to date.

Applications for organic chemical processes were originally due in by July, but the industry's lobbying against the rules eventually forced a three-month delay to allow revisions to the IP

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