EU considers generic pollution permits

Industry inspectors explore prospects for streamlined IPPC permitting for certain sectors

A possibility under the EU's 1996 integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) directive for EU countries to use standardised environmental permits for certain processes or installations should be given greater attention, concludes a report by the bloc's informal network of national environmental inspectors (Impel) and published by the European Commission on Monday.

The report focuses on a clause in the IPPC directive that allows environmental regulators to make use of "general binding rules" (GBRs) in certain situations when issuing permits. In appropriate cases, GBRs could offer a streamlined and cost-effective approach to IPPC permitting, the report says. In effect, they could become permit templates.

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