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IPCC Directive


This Directive No. 96/61/EC of the Council of September 24th, 1996 is about the prevention and integrated reduction of the pollution (Official Journal of the European Communities n L 257 of October 10, 1996).

The Directive was modified lastly by the Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community (OJ of the European Communities n L. 275 of October 25 2003)

Enforcement field and subject

The IPPC Directive is one of the mainstays of the EU legislation on the environment together with the SEVESO II Directive. It's based on the issue of operation permits to control incidents of the activity on the environment.

The Directive applies to a great number of activities, mainly industrialist which present high risks of pollution, for example in the sectors of energy, metallurgy, mineral and chemical industry, waste management and food-processing industry. It also applies to intensive breeding. The list of the activities affected by the Directive appears in appendix I.

Its objective is to prevent and reduce the pollution of air, water and soil thanks to a global system of authorisation which considers these three compartments simultaneously. The Directive also covers waste production, energy use, accidents prevention and cleaning of the factories site.

This approach insures a high degree of environmental protection and is different from the former environmental regulation which dealt with each compartment individually.

Limiting factors

Sites affected by appendix I of the Directive have to obtain an operation permit in order to ensure protection against air, water and soil and to reach a high level of protection for the whole environment. The permit can be updated.

The Directive plans the participation of the public in the decision-making process towards the issue of the permit. The permit must fix limits of emissions for the substances affected in appendix III of the Directive.

Place of hydrogen in this regulation

The chemical installations intended for the manufacture of basic inorganic chemicals such as hydrogen are affected by appendix I of the directive on IPPC, and therefore must be operated after a permit is issued.

Hydrogen generation on site (for example at filling stations) may cause interpretation problems because strictly legally the directive includes also very small hydrogen generation units like small electrolysers or reformers which generate little or no pollution even though its meaning is clearly intended at large plants.

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Page last modified on December 03, 2008, at 12:07 PM