Planning Portal

PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Annex C - European Legislation

C1 A number of European Community Directives are relevant to land-use planning policy on waste management. In particular:

The Framework Directive on Waste

C2 The statutory framework necessary to implement the Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EEC (as amended by 91/156/EEC and 91/692/EEC) is contained in the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. The Directive requires Member States to prepare waste management strategies to ensure the development of an integrated network of regional waste facilities. The Directive also introduces the polluter pays principle and the need for licences and registration of carriers. The amendments will progressively introduce a number of significant modifications intended to maintain a high level of environmental protection.
C3 Waste Management Plans prepared by the three groups of District Councils provide a basis to implement this Directive, but they are not land-use documents. The Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, which implements the Directive in Northern Ireland, includes the requirement for a waste management strategy and integrated network of regional facilities, together with the introduction of a duty of care, registration of carriers and comprehensive provisions for new waste management licences. The Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 establish a system for registration of carriers of controlled waste. These controls make it a criminal offence for any person who is not registered as a carrier to transport controlled waste, and enable the seizure and disposal of vehicles used for illegal waste disposal. The Controlled Waste (Duty of Care) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 came into force on 1st October 2002 and non-compliance will be a criminal offence.

The Landfill Directive

C4 The EC Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC aims to harmonise controls on the landfill of waste throughout the European Union. It came into force in July 2001. It contains two main elements:
  • three progressive targets for Member States to reduce the amount of biodegradeable municipal waste (BMW) going to landfill. These are aimed at reducing the amount of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) emitted from landfill sites. They also reflect the UK’s wider and legally binding target for the reduction of greenhouse gases agreed at Kyoto in December 1997; and
  • the introduction of more stringent operational and technical regulatory requirements on waste and landfills.
The Directive also places restrictions on the co-disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland provides the basis for meeting the BMW targets. The other regulatory aspects will be implemented through new regulations.

The Hazardous Waste Directive

C5 The Directive on Hazardous Waste (91/689/EEC) requires that hazardous wastes be included within the scope of waste management strategies and plans. Its requirements are implemented by the Special Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 which introduce a new definition of special waste and require a tracking system to control the movement of hazardous waste from its point of production to its final destination for disposal or recovery.

The Groundwater Directive

C6 The Groundwater Directive (80/68/EEC) seeks to protect groundwater against pollution caused by specified dangerous substances. This Directive is implemented by the Groundwater Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 that control discharges of List I12 and List II13 substances to groundwater.

The Assessment of the Effects of Certain Public and Private Projects on the Environment

C7 This Directive (the EIA Directive 85/337 EEC as amended by Directive 97/ 11/EC) requires formal consideration of the environmental effects of certain projects and is implemented by the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999. (See paragraph 6.3).

Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC)

C8 Council Directive 96/61/EC on integrated pollution prevention and control lays down measures designed to prevent or, where that is not practicable, to reduce emissions in the air, water and land from certain listed activities including some waste management facilities. Transposing legislation is currently being prepared and this will replace the current arrangements in the Industrial Pollution Control (NI) Order 1997.

The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive

C9 The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) defines treatment standards and monitoring requirements for urban waste water. It is implemented by the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995.
C10 Council Directive 2000/76/EC sets out stringent requirements and operational controls for waste incinerators and co-incinerators. It includes standards of management, control and monitoring and determination of emission limits.
12 Substances which possess carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic properties in or via the aquatic environment.
13 Substances which have a deleterious effect on the taste or odour of groundwater, and compounds liable to cause the formation of such substances in such water and to render it unfit for human consumption.
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