Permits relating to industrial emissions (IED)

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Industrial installations are, among others, required to comply with certain obligations in order to reach a high level of environmental protection. The rules set out aim to:

  • prevent and reduce the pollution caused by industrial activities;
  • avoid, or, should this be impossible, reduce emissions to air, water and land;
  • prevent the generation of waste.

In most cases, the installations concerned must be operated in accordance with the following general principles:

  • all the appropriate preventive measures are taken against pollution;
  • the best available techniques are applied;
  • no significant pollution is caused;
  • the generation of waste is avoided. If waste cannot be avoided, the management of waste must be organised in order of priority: the preparation for re-use, recycling or recovery and then only for disposal while avoiding or minimising its impact on the environment;
  •  energy is used efficiently;
  • all necessary measures are taken to prevent accidents and limit their consequences;
  • all necessary measures are taken upon definitive cessation of activities to avoid any risk of pollution and return the site of operation to a satisfactory state.

IED installations are subject not only to the obligations that apply to classified establishments (class 1) but also to more stringent rules imposing, for example:

  • how to react in case of accidents or incidents;
  • how to react in case of non-compliance.

Who is concerned?

Natural or legal persons who plan to operate a polluting industrial installation. These installations are divided into 2 categories:

  • specific installations such as energy generation industries, metal production and processing, mining, chemical industry, waste management, animal husbandry, etc.;
  • other installations and activities, including large combustion plants, waste incineration and co-incineration installations, installations and activities using organic solvents, and titanium dioxide production facilities.

A single facility can belong to both categories and have more than one installation.

How to proceed

Filing an application

IED establishments must follow the same application procedure as for a class 1 operating permit for classified establishments. As a matter of fact, the information to be provided is similar for both types of establishment, but other elements my be needed, such as:

  • where applicable, a basic report;
  • the main alternatives considered by the applicant to replace the proposed technology.

However, the electronic form does not yet include the information specific to the IED law. They must be provided separately and be attached to the application.

Best available techniques

There is a particularity for these facilities/installations, i.e. the obligation to verify and update existing permits, based, among others, on the evaluation of best available techniques (BAT).

The determination of BAT for the sectors concerned is made by the European Commission via an implementing decision. All permit conditions for the installation concerned must be reviewed within a period of 4 years from the publication of such a decision, and, if necessary, be updated, and the installation must comply with the said permit conditions.

Environmental inspections

The installations will be regularly inspected by the Environment Agency. The frequency of these inspections is determined by the environmental impact and the results of past inspections.

Who to contact

Environment Agency

2 of 8 bodies shown

Related procedures and links


Classified establishments ('commodo/incommodo') Environmental impact assessment (EIA) Risk assessments for certain classified establishments


Legal references

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