Following the publication by the European Commission of the conclusions on best available techniques (BAT) in the waste sector on 17th August 2018, the operators are required to submit a reconsideration file ("dossier de réexamen") and, in certain circumstances, a baseline report to the environmental authority by 17th August 2019. The operators would then have to bring their equipment and installations in line with BAT by 17th August 2022.
This deadline gives us an opportunity to go back over the regulations applicable to the ICPEs (classified facilities for the protection of environment) that are subject to Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (also known as the IED). Those ICPEs are those which are listed under the items "3000" in the classification of classified facilities.
The Directive lays down three guiding principles:
- the application of best available techniques (BAT) in the operation of the relevant activities, and in particular the definition of emission limit values (ELV);
- site remediation measures to return the site to a state that is close to the one described in the baseline report, i.e. close to the state of soil and groundwater before the commissioning of the facilities;
- a periodical reconsideration of permit conditions.
The deadline relates to that last principle. The reconsideration file should be prepared on the basis of a comparison between the operation of the facilities as described in the application for a permit, on the one hand, and the new conditions of operation that have become necessary following the publication of BAT, on the other hand. So, one should include details for the updating of the application file for a permit, the operator's opinion on the need to update the requirements contained in the permit, and any other information the préfet would find necessary for the purposes of reconsidering the permit.
The baseline report mentioned in the second guiding principle is not always a very restrictive formality, as the operators are required to provide at least information on the present use of the soil and, if possible, on past uses of the soil, as well as, where available, information about the state of soil and groundwater. However, if the operator does not hold sufficient information, the operator shall take the initiative of carrying out investigations.
(i) Which are the operators, to whom the 17th August 2019 deadline applies?
Not all waste treatment activities are affected by these changes...