IMPEL projects

  • IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI) – yearly programme

    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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  • Sustainable Landspreading

    The project (SWETE-Safeguarding the Water Environment Throughout Europe, phases I-V) seeks to build a common understanding of our regulatory approaches, build networks of experts and develop shared resources to enhance technical resilience, into the water environment arena (and specifically on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). SWETE phase VII and the 2021 Sustainable Landspreading project focuses on the study of the capacity of soils to accept contaminants from land spreading activities.

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  • Use of technology in regulation

    All inspectorates are required to be as efficient and effective as possible whilst still offering existing or even expanded services. Recent IMPEL Review Initiatives have yielded information on various technological advances being made by regulatory agencies within Europe. This mini conference intends to share the learning of not only what is out there but also the back story of the pitfalls/costs of development & teething issues that lead to the finished product. This is not about sharing minimum criteria more the art of the possible and how to get there as efficiently as possible.

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  • Supporting IED Implementation

    The project aims to share knowledge and good practices among regulatory professionals and developing guidance and training materials to support the effective implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Specific outcomes of the project over the next four years (2021-2024) will be:

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  • Onshore Oil and Gas Regulation

    The intense public debate on the shale gas industry has brought the spotlight on the whole onshore oil and gas industry, how it is regulated and what is considered best practice for the industry. The EU regulatory framework has recently been assessed by the European Commission (EC), which published a ‘Recommendation’ for minimum principles for the extraction of hydrocarbons (including shale gas) using hydraulic fracturing, with the intension to review its implementation in August 2015. However, this work did not look at the existing practices of the onshore oil and gas industry.

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  • Mapping the regulatory toolkit

    The regulatory toolkit is not commonly known or fully understood in its entirety due to rapid changes in regulatory practice and advancements in technology. This project seeks to identify practices used primarily in Europe but also from around the world (through questionnaires & literature search) so that they may be mapped against the compliance spectrum. This will enhance understanding of all regulators enabling them to apply these new tools and practices appropriately in tandem to aid compliance.

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  • Nature protection expert team meeting and joint inspections

    In 2014 the first green IMPEL Review Initiaive (IRI) was executed in Romania, the second green IRI will be executed in May 2016 in Italy. Best practices and opportunities for improvement were identified. Romania pointed out a focus area where they want to exchange knowledge and expertise; namely on the organisation of environmental and nature protection agencies (separated or merged). During the workshop in Romania in 2015 the working group identified the issue of ‘illegal hunting tourism’ as an opportunity to work together to identify the scope of this activity and to identify legal and illegal aspects. This was based on a presentation from a prosecutor in Romania. This case had deep impact on nature conservation status and it was told that illegal activities still continue. In the management plan for the expert team on nature conservation the ‘backbone structure’ contains a cycle form an IRI activity, followed up with expert team meeting in the year after.

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  • Water & land expert team meeting

    The new IMPEL strategy provides for Expert Teams (ET), among which Water and Land Expert Team. It is necessary that, at least once per year, members of the ET meet to discuss projects outcomes, progress and future activities and the appointment of the ET Leader and Deputy Leader for 2017 and 2018. The projects provide for a meeting, for a maximum of 20 persons, to be held back to back with a conference; likely with the IMPEL Water Conference in the framework of SWETE 2 project. The outcomes will be related to an increased strength of Expert Team, clear priorities, better defined programmes aiming to tackle water and land issues from the IMPEL’s point of view.

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  • IED Baseline Report

    The Baseline Report has been introduced in European law since only a few years. Nonetheless, some Member States have already acquired a considerable experience regarding soil investigations, with well established procedures based in some cases on decades of practical experience. The aim of the IED Baseline Report is primarily the assessment of the soil quality at the start of the renewal of the permit of a industrial activity as to establish an initial state. The objective is to provide a basis for comparison upon definitive closure of the activity, as to make possible the application of the “polluter pays principle” on a objective basis.

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  • Implementation Challenge – Embedding the results in IMPEL’s work programme.

    IMPEL recently carried out a study – ‘Challenges in the practical implementation of EU environmental law and how IMPEL could help overcome them’ – involving a questionnaire survey and desk-based research to identify key implementation challenges faced by environmental authorities in its member countries. This has provided very useful information to help focus IMPEL’s work programmes for the future. Further work is now needed to elaborate on the more detailed nature of the implementation challenges that have been identified and to investigate cross-cutting issues and themes. This will provide a valuable input to help identify specific priorities for IMPEL’s 5 Expert Teams and to shape IMPEL’s multi-annual strategy for the future.

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