Integrated pollution control and the organic chemicals industry

The chemical industry has been loudest in expressing its anxiety about the potential business implications of integrated pollution control (IPC). The publication of draft guidance notes by HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) for nine sectors of the organic chemicals industry has provided it with its first opportunity to understand the detailed implications of the new regime.1 Chemical companies' most common complaint is that the guidance lacks the detail which would tell them what HMIP will be demanding - an issue which is also likely to reinforce environmentalists' concern about the direction IPC is taking.

The organic chemicals industry will be the fourth to come within IPC, following fuel and power, waste disposal and minerals. Operators of existing processes in the sector will have to apply for IPC authorisation between 1 May and 31 July 1993. They are then likely to have to upgrade their plants by 1997 to standards based on the "best available techniques not entailing excessive cost" (BATNEEC) which will apply immediately to new or substantia

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