Period: 2003 – 2004
Project description and aims
This project was undertaken to prepare a report on how human health effects are taken into account in the various stages involved in permitting within the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. By considering the current varied approaches of Member States to this issue a good practice guide has been developed. This guide will assist Member States by identifying common principles and procedures which they can consider in their implementation of the IPPC Directive. IPPC provides a stronger emphasis than any earlier legislation on protecting human health through environmental regulation. The project identified that in most European Member States (MS) the responsibilities for health protection and environmental protection do not rest with the same body. Implementing IPPC is therefore challenging and requires significant co-operation.
The key findings of this project are:
- Applicants should be provided with guidance for the assessment of health through IPPC.
- Strict compliance with ambient health based Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs) is necessary to ensure health protection.
- Local sensitive receptors can justify more in depth assessments even if health based EQSs are not being exceeded.
- Where domestic EQSs are being exceeded then a maximum of 12 months should be allowed for improvements to secure compliance.
- There should be a statutory health consultee who is consulted on the draft permit as well as the application.
- The permitting authority should provide a clear indication of how the permitting decision was reached.
The good practice guide will act as a useful influencing tool to positively challenge how MS approach the implementation of IPPC. This project has highlighted that protection of human health is an integral part of environmental protection. There are inconsistencies in how this is managed across Member States and this good practice guide addresses these issues. The network established by the project is a valuable resource to both IMPEL and the EU and it should continue to share ongoing experiences and good practice relating to health through IPPC.
Lead country and contact
- United Kingdom