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Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter deals with the latest in a long series of attempts to streamline or integrate various industrial pollution control systems—a regime that began by bringing together integrated pollution prevention and control and waste management licensing but which now extends to water and groundwater discharge permits and controls on radioactive substances. The environmental permitting regime provides a broad, largely procedural, framework within which the substantive provisions of various European Directives are implemented across a range of industrial installations and waste management facilities. As such, it introduces few general changes of substance, merely reflecting, as many integrative measures have done, structural and administrative changes, and a reordering of what was already there.


This chapter focuses on Integrated Pollution Control (IPC), a form of environmental regulation that was developed in the EU in the early 1990s. IPC takes a holistic view of the environment, acknowledging that ecosystems draw on interconnected and interdependent elements of the living and non-living environment. The chapter critically assesses the incorporation of holistic understandings of the natural environment into environmental law. First, it traces the elusive policy idea of holistic environmental regulation and decision-making, and draws attention to the early emergence of ideas of integrated pollution control in Victorian environmental law in Britain. Second, the chapter maps the application of holistic understandings of the natural environment through IPC regimes in both the EU and the UK, in particular the EU Directive on Industrial Emissions and its implementation through the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.