Industrial Emissions Directive FAQ's

  • What is the Industrial Emissions Directive?

    The Industrial Emissions Directive which came into force on the 6th of January 2011 and came about as a result of a European Commission review of European legislation on industrial emissions. The review led to the commission proposing this directive on industrial emissions (The IED or Industrial Emissions Directive) which replaces seven existing directives namely:

    • The Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD)
    • The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPC)
    • The Waste Incineration Directive (WID)
    • The Solvent Emissions Directive (SED) and 
    • Three existing directives on titanium dioxide.

    Click here for link to the European Commission IED webpage

  • When will the IED apply to me?

    Certain provisions of the Directive/Irish legislation will follow the implementation dates below:

    • implementation in Ireland from 23 April 2013 and applies to any new installations from this date onwards
    • implementation from 07 January 2014 in respect of existing installations
    • implementation by 07 July 2015 in respect of industrial activities not subject to the current IPPC Directive (2008/1/EC)
    • existing large combustion plants do not become subject to the requirements of Chapter III of the IED until 01 January 2016.
  • What does the IED mean for EPA licensing?

    One of the main functions of the Environmental Protection Agency has been the licensing and control of specified activities that are listed in:

    • the Third and Fourth Schedules to the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended, and
    • the First Schedule to the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 as amended

    Under these acts, the Agency has to date granted waste licences and IPPC licences respectively.

    The Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU), as it has been transposed into Irish legislation, has changed the existing situation and has introduced a third class of licence that can be granted by the Agency, the Industrial Emissions Licence. The European Union (Industrial Emissions) Regulations have amended the First Schedule of the EPA Acts to state which activities are licensable in accordance with Annex I of the Industrial Emissions Directive and will require an Industrial Emissions Licence.

  • What does the IED specifically mean for Waste licensing?

    In relation to waste activities and of interest to waste licence applicants, the range of waste activities listed in the new First Schedule (class 11) has been expanded.

    There is going to be a major change in the way that these First Schedule waste activities (class 11) will be licensed by the Agency. The First Schedule waste activities will in future be licensed by the Agency under:

    • the EPA Act 1992 as amended; and 
    • the European Union (Industrial Emissions) (Licensing) Regulations 2013

    and not, as has been the case to date, under: 

    • the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended; and 
    • the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004.
  • Is there always a corresponding class of activity under the Industrial Emissions Directive for activities under the Waste Management Act?

    The Industrial Emissions Directive has introduced a new type of licensing.  Whereas in the past we had waste licences under the Waste Management Act as amended and IPPC licences under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 as amended we now have a third type of licence - the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) licence.  Under the IED there is a new set of capacity thresholds (perhaps daily or annual capacity thresholds) which bring activities under the control of the IED and the thresholds may depend on the intended destination of the waste.  For example the composting of waste now has an associated threshold of 50 tonnes per day (Class 11.4(a)(i)) if the waste is destined for disposal but if the waste is intended for recovery, or a mix of disposal and recovery, then the threshold is 75 tonnes per day (Class 11.4(b)(i)).

    Clearly then you will not find a direct correlation between classes of activity under IED and classes of activity under the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended.

  • When does Class 11.1 apply / not apply?

    A Class 11.1 activity must have a connection or association with another activity at the same licenced site and can only be an ‘additional’ class of activity.

    Class 11.1 is not an IED class of activity.  Class 11.1 will generally only be applicable where there are non-IED classes of activity being carried on at a facility in addition to IED classes of activity.  Class 11.1 can be associated with any other IED activity, and not just other class 11 waste activities.  It is therefore not the case that Class 11.1 can be the only class applying to your activity.

    Class 11.1 is the 'recovery or disposal of waste in a facility, within the meaning of the Act of 1996, which facility is connected or associated with another activity specified in this Schedule in respect of which a licence or revised licence under Part IV is in force or in respect of which a licence under the said Part is or will be required'.

  • Could a landfill at a licensed site fall under class 11.1 instead of 11.5?

    A landfill that is covered by the IED will be licensed as class 11.5.  For a landfill to be class 11.1, it must be the following:

    • not a landfill subject to the IED; and
    • connected or associated with an IED activity.

    Further guidance will issue on how to decide if a landfill is covered by the IED.

  • How do I interpret the term "capacity"?

    Many of the IED classes of activity talk about production capacity, consumption capacity, treatment capacity, etc., but how do you interpret the term ‘capacity.’

    Simply put the term refers to both the legal (for example limitations placed on a production capacity by legislation, planning permission or licence) and the technical capacity of an installation (for example the technical or physical limitations on waste processing capacity as a result of infrastructure or machinery).

    It should be noted that it is not considered sufficient/reliable to convert IED daily thresholds into annual thresholds in order to determine capacity.

    For further discussion on the interpretation of “capacity” see the European Commission’s Guidance on Interpretation and Determination of Capacity under the IPPC Directive at 

  • How do I interpret the term "pre-treatment" as it pertains to activities under class 11.4(a)(iii) and 11.4(b)(ii)?

    The term "pre-treatment" is not defined in the Industrial Emissions Directive.  The term "treatment" is defined in the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) as:

    'recovery or disposal operations, including preparation prior to recovery or disposal'.

    The term 'treatment' has the same meaning as 'pre-treatment'.

    Operators who carry out recovery and/or disposal activities on waste followed by dispatch of the waste for incineration or co-incineration should be regarded as carrying out “pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration” for the purposes of the new First Schedule.

    When deciding whether an activity comprises “pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration” for the purposes of the new First Schedule, applicants should consider what happens within the waste facility that is to be authorised, and not any treatment or pre-treatment that took place previously at another facility or the presence of waste segregation practices at the point of waste collection.

    The following should not generally be regarded as constituting "pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration":

    • the incidental generation of waste from waste treatment activities and the dispatch of such incidental waste for incineration.

    Solid recovered fuels and refuse derived fuels are often but not always produced to a technical specification that might also comprise a quality standard and/or a quality assurance scheme.  They are also often produced to be classified by the EWC codes 191210 or 191212.  The absence of:

    • a technical specification,
    • a quality standard, 
    • a quality assurance scheme, and/or 
    • EWC codes 19 12 10 and 19 12 12

    for a solid recovered fuel or refuse derived fuel is not indicative that an activity does not comprise "pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration".

  • When is a landfill subject to the IED?

    Text of class 11.5 of the First Schedule of the EPA Act 1992 as amended:

    Landfills, within the meaning of section 5 (amended by Regulation 11(1) of the Waste Management (Certification of Historic Unlicenced Waste Disposal and Recovery Activity) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 524 of 2008)) of the Act of 1996, receiving more than 10 tonnes of waste per day or with a total capacity exceeding 25,000 tonnes, other than landfills of inert waste.

    Text of class 5.4 of Annex I of the IED:

    Landfills, as defined in Article 2(g) of Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste receiving more than 10 tonnes of waste per day or with a total capacity exceeding 25,000 tonnes, excluding landfills of inert waste.

    The definition of landfill, as referenced in section 5 of the Act of 1996 and Article 2(g) of the Landfill Directive, is:

    "landfill" means a waste disposal site for the deposit of waste onto or into land (i.e. underground), including:

    • internal waste disposal sites (i.e. landfill where a producer of waste is carrying out its own waste disposal at the place of production), and
    • a permanent site (i.e. more than one year) which is used for temporary storage of waste, but excluding
    • facilities where waste is unloaded in order to permit its preparation for further transport for recovery, treatment or disposal elsewhere, and
    • storage of waste prior to recovery or treatment for a period less than three years as a general rule, or
    • storage of waste prior to disposal for a period less than one year.

    It would be convenient to limit the application of IED to those landfills subject to the Landfill Directive. However the definition of class 11.5 is silent on the applicability of the Landfill Directive and simply refers to landfills, potentially meaning all landfills, regardless of the applicability of the Landfill Directive or status of operations – e.g. operational, aftercare.

    The definition of class 5.4 in the Directive indicates that landfills are as defined in the Landfill Directive, but does not restrict the application of IED to those landfills subject to the Landfill Directive.

    Article 82 of the Industrial Emissions Directive states (paraphrased) the following:In relation to installations carrying out activities referred to in Annex I, …point 5.4 … which are in operation and hold a permit before 7 January 2013…, Member States shall apply the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions adopted in accordance with Article 80(1) from 7 January 2014….

    Article 76A(8) of the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended, states, in relation to class 11.5 (landfill) activities, that the Agency shall, by 7 January 2014, examine the terms of every waste licence and determine whether, having regard to the provisions of the Industrial Emissions Directive, the waste licence is to be amended to bring it into conformity with the Directive.

    The provisions of the Industrial Emissions Directive (Article 82) state that the Directive should be applied to installations “which are in operation”. The Agency will apply the provisions of the IED only to those landfills “which are in operation”. The Landfill Directive differentiates between two principal phases of a landfill – the operational phase and the aftercare phase. The provisions of the IED will be applied to those landfills that remain in the operational phase. The Landfill Directive is silent on the closure phase as being a distinct phase, therefore the operational phase will be taken to include the period of time during which closure procedures are being implemented. The onus will be on the landfill operator (licensee) to demonstrate the documented achievement of site closure in accordance with the CRAMP (including verification of definite closure by OEE) and demonstrate that the site has entered the aftercare phase before 7 January 2014.

  • What are the newly prescribed activities under the First Schedule of the EPA Act 1992 as amended (existing installation not covered by the EPA Act)?

    The following activities are newly prescribed and will require an Industrial Emissions Licence by 7th July 2015:

    1. The production of, organic/ inorganic chemicals, of phosphorus-based, nitrogen-based or potassium-based fertilisers, of plant health products and of biocides, of pharmaceutical products including intermediates, of explosives, provided that the activity concerns production by biological processing.
    2. The gasification and liquefaction of fuels other than coal, with a rated thermal input of 20MW or more.
    3. An activity specified in paragraph 7.8 (food and drink sector) that did not previously require a licence.
    4. In relation to the waste sector, certain waste licences will become IE licences and regulated under the EPA Act 1992 to 2013.

    Given the complexity and scale of some IED activities, and in order to avoid possible delays caused by submitting an incomplete application, the EPA recommends that you engage in pre-application clarification/consultation prior to submitting your application for an IED licence.

    Contact the EPA Environmental Licensing Programme at if you wish to arrange a pre-application meeting.

  • What are the newly prescribed activities in the food & drink sector (activities which previously did not require a licence)?

    Newly prescribed activities in the food and drink sector include those installations involved in:

    1. The treatment and processing for the production of feed from animal and/ or vegetable raw materials, where finished product production capacity exceeds 75 tonnes per day where 10% or more animal raw material is used and 300 tonnes per day if only vegetable raw material. 
    2. The treatment and processing for the production of food or feed from a mixture of animal and vegetable raw materials at specified daily production capacity (a sliding scale for mixed production in the range 75 to 300 tonnes per day applies where less than 10% animal raw material is used).
    3. The treatment and process for the production of feed on a seasonal basis of more than 600 tonnes per day for a period of no more than 90 days in any year.

    Read more

  • When does the slaughtering activity end and food production begin at an installation?

    Having regard to the scope of both the Slaughterhouses and Animal by-products Industries BREF and the Food, Drink and Milk Industries BREF, the ‘slaughter’ activity (class 7.4.1) is considered to end with the making of standard cuts for large animals and the production of a clean whole carcase for poultry.  Standard cuts are defined as carcases, half carcases, half carcases cut into no more than three wholesale cuts and quarters.  Chilling is considered part of the slaughtering class, if it is chilling of the carcase or standard cuts.  For the purposes of clarity, the slaughter activity covers the removal of offal and appendages. 

    Whereas the deboning of carcases, mincing and packaging for retail etc. at meat installations are food production activities (class 7.8(a)(i)).   The production of food from animal raw materials with a finished product production capacity of greater than 75 tonnes/day (class 7.8(a)(i)) at a meat installation is an additional licensable activity to the slaughtering activity where it is carried on at the same installation.

  • When does Class 11.6 apply?

    A Class 11.6 activity is the temporary storage of hazardous waste pending any of the activities referred to in paragraph 11.2, 11.3, 11.5 or 11.7 with a total capacity exceeding 50 tonnes.  It does not apply to the temporary storage of hazardous waste on the site where the waste is generated and is awaiting collection.

    For example installations undertaking solvent reclamation or regeneration at a capacity greater than 10 tonnes/day, may also have a dedicated storage area for the associated hazardous waste.  Where the capacity of that dedicated waste storage area is greater than 50 tonnes, then class 11.6 applies.   It may be the case that the hazardous waste was generated on the site but as it is also undergoing solvent recovery at the installation, the dedicated storage area associated with the solvent recovery activity must be considered in the context of class 11.6. 

  • When is storage of waste an IED activity?

    The storage of waste is a (pre-)treatment operation. In the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), ‘treatment’ means recovery or disposal operations, including preparation prior to recovery or disposal. Disposal and recovery operations are listed (in a non-exhaustive list) in Annex I and II respectively of the Directive. Activities D15 and R13 are storage operations, as follows:

    • D15 Storage pending any of the operations numbered D1 to D14 (excluding temporary storage, pending collection, on the site where the waste is produced.
    • R13 Storage pending any of the operations numbered R1 to R12 (excluding temporary storage, pending collection, on the site where the waste is produced.

    If the storage operation takes place in what might be called the supply chain for 'pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration', then it is IED if over threshold because storage of waste is a waste recovery or disposal operation and therefore treatment

  • What is temporary storage of waste?

    According to the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended, the temporary storage of waste refers to the storage of waste for a period of not more than six months.