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European approval law for industrial plants

by Dr. Peter Aertker

Directive 96/61/EC on integrated pollution prevention and control concerns the most important industrial, mostly large-scale, plants in Germany. Like hardly any other European Community legal act, it will have a significant impact on German law because of its requirement for integrated environmental protection. The aim of the directive is, in addition to the joint assessment of the environmental media air, water and soil and a consideration of the production process based on environmental aspects, to achieve a far-reaching concentration of official approval in one procedure. In Germany, integrated environmental protection has so far been more of a vision than a reality. What is required is the conversion of existing structures in accordance with the guidelines or the creation of a new law. Both encounter considerable practical problems.

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