Industrial Emissions Directive

The Industrial Emissions Directive affects sites that perform certain activities that are considered to require more exacting environmental controls.

From a waste perspective, it means that some sites that have operated under an Environmental Permit will need to take IED into account and be classed as an ‘installation’ for Permitting purposes.

The Environment Agency is going through a timetable of application, but effectively, any new application for an IED process since 1 Jan 2013 will have had to apply using the new requirements.

Existing facilities that fall under IED have a deadline of 7th July for changing to an installation permit.

Installation permits require increased regulatory effort by the EA and therefore attract higher charges that ordinary permits.

The EA estimates that in England, ~9000 waste operations will not be affected by IED but 767 will definitely be and a further 1,689 might be. There seems to be some confusion in relation to those ~1700 sites.

The newly prescribed activities that are affected are as follows:

  • Hazardous waste storage at > 50 tonnes per day (tpd) 
  • Hazardous waste treatment for recovery (and disposal) at > 10tpd 
  • Anaerobic digestion at > 100tpd * 
  • Composting at > 75tpd * 
  • Mechanical and Biological Treatment at > 75tpd * 
  • Metal shredders / fragmentising at > 75tpd * 
  • Slags and ash treatment for recovery at > 75tpd * 
  • Pre-treatment for incineration or co-incineration for recovery at > 75tpd * 
  • Vegetable processing >300tpd (or >600tpd if seasonal for <90 days per year), mixed animal and vegetable processing covered under new mixed rules 

* note that capacity would be aggregated with other asterisked activities on the same site


The main confusion seems to relate to ‘Pre-treatment for incineration and co-incineration’. Sites that prepare Refuse Derived Fuel and wood shredding sites, for instance, are deemed to be out of scope for the moment whilst the EA determines what the policy should be. 

From April 2014 Briefing Note  It is important to note that we will defer a decision on how to address pre-treatment for incineration activities. These are being excluded as there remains significant uncertainty about these sites – in or out of IED scope, and as they present around 50% of the total sites it’s important we get it right and target our resources wisely. We will publicise developments on this in due course.

A very good leaflet was produced by the Renewable Energy Association.

The best place to find historical information on this is in the EA Archives. New information can only be found on GOV.UK but as with everything else on that site, you need to know what you are looking for. 



SEPA – much better source of general information on IED

Northern Ireland