Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licensing

What is an IPC licence?

An Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licence is a single integrated licence which covers all emissions from a facility and its environmental management. 

Before a licence is granted, you must satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency that emissions from the activity will not cause a significant adverse environmental impact.

The role of the EPA

The EPA issues licences that contain strict conditions on how an activity must operate so as to protect the environment from pollution that might otherwise arise.  The EPA Act, 1992 specifically prohibits the EPA from granting a licence if emissions from the activity would cause pollution. 

Who needs an Integrated Pollution Control (IPC)licence?

The EPA grants and enforces Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licences for specified industrial and agricultural activities.  These are listed in the First Schedule to the EPA Act.

The types of industry* which may require an Industrial Emissions licence include:

  • Minerals and Other Materials
  • Metals
  • Mineral Fibres and Glass
  • Chemicals
  • Food and Drink
  • Textiles and Leather
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Cement
  • Waste (class 11.1)
  • Surface Coatings
  • Other Activities (includes testing of engines, manufacture of integrated circuits and printed circuit boards, production of lime and manufacture of ceramics)

Some of the classes are subject to thresholds. 

Some activities only require an EPA licence above specified thresholds. If you are carrying on an activity that is below a threshold you must ensure that you do not exceed that threshold without having an IPC licence.

If you are planning to start a new activity which requires an IPC licence you must have a licence first. It is an offence to carry on a licensable activity without a licence from the EPA.

Do you need an IPC or a Waste Licence?

If you are carrying on IPC and Waste activities you can ask the EPA to make a declaration as to whether an IPC or Waste licence is required.  Such a declaration may also be made by the EPA of its own volition.  For more information, see Section 39A of the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended.