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Explanatory Memorandum to Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002

Key Features

10.The provisions of Part II will share a number of features with the current arrangements under the 1997 Order. In particular, they will retain the regulatory structures of that Order with a Chief Inspector assuming responsibility for regulation as Part A activities of those installations listed in Annex 1 to the IPPC Directive. This means that all such installations will be assessed against their capacity to cause significant pollution to air, water and land.

11.In addition, the provisions of the 1997 Order relating to Part B and Part C processes will be repealed and re-enacted in the new legislation.

12.However, to reflect the specific requirements of the IPPC Directive, Part II will provide for the subordinate legislation to apply a number of new features to Part A installations. These may be summarised as follows:

  • The legislation will require the permitting of installations rather than the authorisation of processes.

  • The range of installations will be much wider than at present. The main additions, above a certain capacity, will be

    • agricultural installations for the intensive rearing of poultry and pigs;

    • landfill sites;

    • slaughterhouses;

    • installations for the treatment and processing of animal raw materials; and

    • installations for the treatment and processing of vegetable raw materials.

  • The range of environmental impacts to be considered by the Chief Inspector when considering the grant of a permit will be much wider and will include issues such as noise, site restoration, accident prevention, energy efficiency and raw material selection and use.

  • There is no provision for any installations to be exempted from control, for example, because of the “triviality” of its emissions.

  • There are no timescales set for the review of permits which are to be reviewed “periodically” to take account of technological or other changes.

  • There will be provision for the use of general binding rules as an alternative to individually tailored permit conditions across sectors where there is a high degree of uniformity.

13.The IPPC Directive’s requirements applied to new installations immediately upon its coming into effect and to parts of existing installations which undergo a “substantial change” immediately such a change occurred. Existing installations in so far as they are not substantially changed, were afforded a period of grace of up to eight years after the Directive was brought into effect, during which they would need to be upgraded to meet the Directive’s requirements. All installations therefore must be permitted by 31 October 2007. Once issued, a permit must be reviewed periodically, and must be updated if there are significant technological or other developments.

14.A phased call-in of installations by sector will be provided for in the subordinate legislation. Special provision will also be made for dealing immediately with those installations which required permitting in the period between the operational date of the Directive and the effective date of the legislation.

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