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IMPEL projects

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    1999 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2021 2024
    Water and land Waste and TFS Industry and air Nature protection Cross-cutting tools and approaches
    Ongoing Completed
  • Financial Provisions

    2016 – 2021

    Ongoing

    When sites go into liquidation provisions are generally not made for environmental clean-up and leave substantial environmental legacies which need subsequently to be addressed. Different solutions have been sought across Europe and include the use of insurance policies, financial provisions, and bonds. The issue of insolvency remains and even if provisions are made these are often ignored by the liquidator with the result that nothing is left for the environment as it is seen as subservient to company law. Ultimately lengthy legal battles may still result in the tax payer covering the expense – in direct contradiction of the polluter pays principle.

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  • Energy efficiency projects

    2002-2012

    Completed

    IMPEL ran a series of projects in relation to energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in permitting and inspections (2010 – 2012) Energy is a priority issue within the European Union. The EU Climate Change and Energy Package foresees an increase in energy efficiency of 20% and a reduction of greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. Since the 2002/2003 Finnish led IMPEL project on energy efficiency, a current evaluation has shown that only minor changes have occurred in the consideration of energy efficiency issues in permitting and supervising procedures. The project identified 7 main challenges concerning energy efficiency:

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  • Nature protection in permitting and inspection of industrial installations – Implementation of Art. 6(3) of the Habitats Directive (phase 1, 2 & 3)

    2014-2015

    Completed

    This project consists of two phases. It started in 2014 with the project “Nature protection in permitting and inspection of industrial installations Implementation of Art. 6(3) of the Habitats Directive”. The main findings of the project 2014 concluded that there is a need for improving knowledge about and use of EU guidance and awareness raising measures, sharing existing national guidance and scientific studies, exchanging knowledge about screening criteria and assessment methodologies, e.g accepted practices: use of Critical Loads (CL), criteria for habitat loss (Fachkonventionen DE), new approaches e.g. for evaluation of Nitrogen-deposition. It also suggested to develop a targeted user-friendly guidance.

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  • Doing the right things for environmental permitting

    2016-2018

    Completed

    The Environmental Inspection Cycle (EIC) describes step by step how environmental inspections should be planned and what to consider when executing the inspections. The EIC is also used by IMPEL as a framework where other IMPEL inspection initiatives can hook up on to create a better cohesion between the tools that are developed. Although there is a lot of experience in Europe in environmental permitting, the procedure itself has never been described in a step-by-step guidance. As a result there is no level playing field for the procedures of environmental permitting, there is no guidance for new permitting officers and there is less cohesion between the IMPEL initiatives on permitting.

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  • Compliance assurance through company compliance management systems

    2011

    Ongoing

    In many countries industrial companies are supervised by authorities who regularly carry out site inspections and perform other “traditional” compliance checks like assessing emissions reports. But how effective and efficient are these output oriented supervision activities in terms of achieving good compliance with environmental regulation or even environmental performance beyond compliance? Previous IMPEL projects showed that the smart use of the ability of companies to control their risks using management systems can contribute significantly to the effectiveness and the efficiency of public supervision. This seems especially true for relatively big and complex companies whose processes are potentially risky for the environment. There are quite strong indications that, if supervision uses EMSs/CMSs under the right conditions and in a suitable way, the following two objectives can be achieved:

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  • IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI) – yearly programme

    2015

    Ongoing

    The IRI scheme is a voluntary scheme providing for informal reviews of environmental authorities in IMPEL Member countries. It was set up to implement the European Parliament and Council Recommendation (2001/331/EC) providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections (RMCEI), where it states:

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  • IMPEL Review Initiative focussing on Nature Conservation (‘Green IRI’)

    2014

    Ongoing

    Following the general IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI), this projects aims to make a picture of current situation within Member State or in certain area of the Member State in relation to the implementation and enforcement of EU legislation on nature conservation; mainly the Birds and Habitats Directives. The results are identified good practices and opportunities for improvement.

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  • Water and Land Remediation

    2021

    Ongoing

    The contaminated sites management is a process that has different speeds in Members States. This is due partly on difference in legislation that would mean different definitions as for making some examples “potentially contaminated sites”, “contaminated sites”, “remediated sites”. For this reason, the European Commission-JRC launched an initiative with EEA-EIONET network to find common definitions and a survey in MS in 2018 (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/statuslocal-soil-contamination-europe-revision-indicator-progress-management-contaminated-sites) that resulted in defining 6 site statuses.

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  • Implementation challenge 2021

    2021

    Ongoing

    IMPEL has carried out a few similar surveys in recent years which gave a great deal of useful information.  The situation, has however, changed dramatically with the declaration of a climate emergency by many countries, a huge rise in awareness on plastics and global biodiversity decline.  This situation has been significantly exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly derailed regulatory programmes and will ultimately affect public sector budgets and the finances of those expected to comply with environmental legislation. This work is needed to fully identify and quantify these emerging challenges and seek to highlight opportunities and solutions to support the regulatory community. The work will also directly inform the creation of a Multiannual Strategic Plan for 2022 onwards.

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