The Industrial Emissions Directive is a result of extensive discussions among Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Its purpose is to incorporate the obligations of the following seven Directives into one:
- Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) Directive;
- Large Combustion Plants Directive;
- Waste Incineration Directive;
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Solvents Directive;
- Three Directives regarding Titanium Dioxide.
In addition, there will be several new obligations on EU Member States and industry. Some of these are:
New activities requiring an IPPC permit
The scope of the Directive has been extended - in Malta, the waste management sector is the most affected, with many activities, such as the recovery of non-hazardous waste and the treatment of waste water from IPPC sites, requiring IPPC permits. In addition, the Commission will establish guidance on the interpretation of the term “industrial scale” in relation to the chemicals sector.
Lower emissions for power plants
New, lower emission limits for power plants will become applicable to Malta in the year 2020. This will ensure continuity of electricity provision to the Maltese public while the necessary infrastructural upgrades are being carried out.
More central role for BAT-reference documents
BAT-reference documents define operational standards for IPPC installations. Compliance with the conclusions of these documents will become obligatory, however, a derogation may be applied only where the cost would be excessive compared to the environmental benefits. To ensure that this process is transparent, the reason for any derogation will be made public and annexed to the permit. Moreover, the emission limit values in the Annexes to the Industrial Emissions Directive cannot be exceeded, even by derogation.
Malta’s obligations regarding inspections of IPPC installations have been clarified. A risk-based inspection regime will become obligatory, where the frequency of inspections at a particular site would be based on the compliance history of the site and its potential and actual impacts. Specific timeframes for notification of the inspection report to the operator and for carrying out of follow-up inspections in case of important non-compliance issues have also been defined.
Protection of soil and groundwater
Where activities could result in the contamination of soil or groundwater by hazardous substances, the operator will be required to prepare a baseline report. This report will be used to ensure that if significant pollution occurs over time, the operator would, after cessation of the activity, be obliged to return the site to the state defined in the baseline report.
- VOC solvents: No major changes. A specific format for the solvent management plan will be required to be used.
- Waste incineration/co-incineration: Very few changes to emission limit values have been made, amongst which are the emission limit values for combustion plants co-incinerating waste (which have been aligned with emission limits for large combustion plants). Derogations from monitoring of HCl, HF, SO2, NOx, heavy metals and dioxins can only be granted if compliance with emission limit values can be guaranteed.
- Titanium dioxide: Certain emission limit values have been aligned with the BAT-reference document
The following are some key dates for the implementation of the Directive:
|6 Jan 2011||Coming into force of the Industrial Emissions Directive |
|7 Jan 2013||Directive transposed into national law through Legal Notices 9 to 14 of 2013. The provisions of Industrial Emissions Directive will apply to all new installations. |
|7 Jan 2014|
All existing installations* (except Large Combustion Plants) previously subject to IPPC, Incineration, Solvents and Titanium Dioxide Directives must meet the requirements of Industrial Emissions Directive.
|7 July 2015 |
Existing installations** performing new activities (e.g. biological treatment) must meet requirements of Industrial Emissions Directive.
|1 Jan 2020||Large Combustion Plants in Malta must meet the Emission Limit Values in Annex V.|
*Defined as an installation in operation and holding a permit before 7 January 2013, or one for which a complete application for a permit has been submitted before this date, provided that the installation is put into operation no later than 7 January 2014.
** Defined as an installation in operation before 7 January 2013.
The full text of the Industrial Emissions Directive is available here.