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The IED contains relatively detailed requirements for permit applications. In addition to such rather obvious things as a description of the installation, its activities, and sources of emissions, such applications also must include, inter alia, a description of the nature and quantities of foreseeable emissions from the installation into each medium as well as identification of significant effects of the emissions on the environment; measures for the prevention, preparation for re-use, recycling, and recovery of waste generated by the installation; the proposed technology and other techniques for preventing or, where this is not possible, reducing emissions from the installation; and measures planned to monitor emissions into the environment. In addition, it must describe further measures planned to comply with the general principles of the basic obligations of the operator and the main alternatives to the proposed technology, techniques, and measures studied by the applicant in outline.

All this must also be summarised in a non-technical manner. As will be discussed presently, an application must also, when relevant, include information on the state of soil and groundwater contamination by relevant hazardous substances, that is, a so-called baseline report. (Art 12.) [1]

No substantial change—that is, a change in the nature or functioning, or an extension, of an installation or plant, which may have significant negative effects on human health or the environment—to an Annex I activity may be made without a permit granted in accordance with the IED (Arts 3 and 20).

When a permit is issued it must include all measures necessary for compliance with the general principles and with applicable EQS, that is, Articles 11 and 18. There are also more specific requirements that permits must meet. Among them are that they must include ELVs for polluting substances listed in Annex II, and for other polluting substances, which are likely to be emitted from the installation concerned in significant quantities^ appropriate requirements ensuring protection of the soil and groundwater and measures concerning the monitoring and management of waste generated by the installation; suitable emission monitoring^6 measures relating to conditions other than normal operating conditions such as start-up and shut-down operations, leaks, malfunctions, momentary stoppages, and definitive cessation of operations; and requirements concerning the periodic monitoring of soil and groundwater in relation to relevant hazardous substances likely to be found on site.27 (Art 14.)

Permit conditions must be periodically reconsidered by the competent authority and, where necessary to ensure compliance with the Directive, updated.

Within four years of publication of BAT conclusions relating to the main activity of an installation, all the permit conditions for the installation concerned must be reconsidered and, if necessary, updated to ensure compliance with the Directive, in particular the provisions on ELVs. While it is new BAT conclusions relating to the main activity of an installation that trigger the obligation to reconsider the permit, that reconsideration shall also take into account all new or updated BAT conclusions applicable to the installation that have been adopted since the permit was granted or last reconsidered. In this way, ‘horizontal’ BAT conclusions as well as those relating to other than the main activity also affect the content of permits.

If an installation is not covered by any of the BAT conclusions, the permit conditions shall be reconsidered and, if necessary, updated where developments in BAT allow for significant reduction of emissions.

There is also a general obligation to reconsider and, where necessary, update permit conditions in certain situations. These are when the pollution caused by the installation is of such significance that the existing ELVs of the permit need to be revised or new such values need to be included in the permit; when the operational safety requires other techniques to be used; and where it is necessary to comply with a new or revised EQS. (Art 21.)

If a Member State adopts general binding rules for Annex I activities, it must ensure an integrated approach and a high level of environmental protection [2] [3] [4]

equivalent to that achievable with individual permit conditions. Such rules shall be based on BAT, without prescribing the use of any technique or specific technology, and must be updated to take into account developments in BAT (Art 17).

  • [1] ‘Emission levels associated with BAT’ are the range of emission levels obtained under normaloperating conditions using a BAT or a combination of BATs, as described in BAT conclusions. Art 3.
  • [2] As noted, ELVs may be supplemented or replaced by equivalent parameters or technical measuresensuring an equivalent level of environmental protection.
  • [3] 26 These shall, where applicable, be based on the conclusions on monitoring as described in the BATconclusions. Art 16.
  • [4] On the frequency of the periodic monitoring see Art 16.
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