|Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)|
Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on industrial emissions of 24 November 2010 (integrated pollution prevention and control - IED) applies to:
-activities covered by the IPPC Directive and other activities which are being included in the IPPC code; these are listed in Annex I to the IED;
Under the IED the EU Member States are required to control and reduce the impact of industrial emissions on the environment.
Installations are only allowed to operate with a permit that specifies the conditions for operation, and they are obliged to use the best available techniques (BAT).
The permit for an installation has to take into account the entire environmental performance of the plant (i.e. an ‘integrated approach’).
The IED places restrictions on the number of running hours for fossil fuel power generation plants with regard to the harmful waste gases that they emit (unless investments are made to reduce this impact), and will affect decisions on whether to invest in new plants or maintain existing facilities.
Hence, a number of coal-fired power stations will have to close by 2023 or when they have exhausted their allocated 17,500 running hours.
The plants covered by the IED had three options:
1. opt-in to the IED and satisfy the emissions requirements as of 1 January 2016;
2. opt-in via the Transitional National Plan (TNP) and thereby gradually adjust to the new emissions requirements (plants in this case are subjected to an emissions allocation during the transitional period (between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2020) and - at the end of the period - could either opt in to the IED or limit their operating hours to 1,500 per year;
3. Opt-out from the IED, and thereby limit the running hours to 17,500 between 2016 and 2023 (these plants will be forced to close when the hours are exhausted or by the end of 2023, whichever is reached first).
Articles 13 to 16 of the IED require that BAT reference documents are the reference for setting permit conditions and that emission limit values do not exceed the emission levels associated with the best available techniques as described in those BAT reference documents.
Competent authorities will be in a position to grant derogations, in specific cases, to set less strict emission limit values associated with the best available techniques as described in the BAT reference documents. Such derogations may only apply where an assessment shows that the achievement of emission levels associated with the best available techniques as described in BAT conclusions would lead to disproportionately higher costs compared to environmental benefits due to the geological location or the local environmental conditions of the installation concerned or the technical characteristics of the installation concerned. Such derogations and their justification will be required to be made available to the public.
It should be borne in mind that emission limit values (ELV) set out in Annex V part 1 and 2 of the IED for existing and new plant are the minimum required and application of BAT may result in tighter ELVs.
It follows, ELVs no less stringent than those in Annex V of the IED must be set in permits. But the requirements in Chapter II of the Directive also apply and may in some cases compel ELVs more stringent than those in Annex V.
Article 21 of the IED introduces a requirement for permit conditions to be reconsidered, and where necessary, updated to ensure compliance with the Directive. The reconsideration must take into account all the new or updated BAT conclusions applicable to the installation and adopted since the permit was granted or last renewed. Such a review and update to be undertaken within 4 years of publication of the BAT reference document, relating to the main activity of an installation.
A plant's permit will also be varied to reflect its passage into the Transitional National Plan (TNP) and then varied again from the expiry of TNP on 30th June 2020, or from the date of the plant's exit from the TNP if earlier.
In Article 30 and Annex V, the IED sets more stringent emission limit values, aligned with best available techniques, for certain categories of combustion plants and pollutants.
The IED requires new large combustion plants to meet strict emissions limits for nitrogen and sulphur oxides and particulates from 7 January 2013. New combustion plants become subject to Chapter III from 7 January 2013. Existing large combustion plants do not become subject to any of the requirements in Chapter III until 1 January 2016 (Article 30). Until that date, they remain subject to the relevant requirements in the LCP Directive. Up to June 2020, Member States may define transitional plans with declining annual caps for nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and dust particles (Article 32). Industrial installations that are scheduled to close by the end of 2023 do not need to upgrade (Article 33).
The IED requests Member States to actively promote emerging techniques. In Article 3(14), the IED defines and introduces the term, "emerging technique" as a novel technique that could provide a higher general level of protection of the environment or higher cost savings than existing best available techniques. In addition, the Directive, in Article 15 provides the competent authority with the option to grant temporary derogations from emission levels associated with the best available techniques as described in the BAT reference documents to enable an operator to test and use emerging techniques which might provide for higher level of environmental protection.
IED and the EU ETS Directive
Permits granted under IED for installations covered by 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 do not include an emission limit value for direct emissions of the greenhouse gases subject to Directive 2003/87/EC.
Definition of the combustion plant - “common stack"
It is noteworthy, IED conditions apply at a plant (stack) level while BAT applies at a unit level within a plant, at a plant level and at an overall installation level.
Under the "common stack" definition of "combustion plant", existing plants whose waste gases are, in the view of the competent authority, discharged through a common stack must be considered as a single plant for the purposes of the Directive.
Accordingly, when a group of boiler discharge their waste gases through a common stack, the term "existing combustion plant" should be interpreted as that group of boilers.
When only one boiler vents through one stack, an existing plant should be interpreted as that boiler (an example given by the UK environment agencies).
IED timelines for transposition
The IED was required to be transposed into law by Member States by 7 January 2013 (Article 80). Certain provisions of the IED had specific implementation dates:
- existing large combustion plants do not become subject to the requirements of Chapter III of the IED until 1 January 2016 remaining until that date subject to the relevant requirements of Directive 2001/80/EC, and
- implementation by 7 July 2015 in respect of industrial activities not subject to the current IPPC Directive (2008/1/EC).
|Last Updated on Friday, 15 December 2017 13:23|