New environment permits system announced by MEPA

A new draft environmental permits system has been drawn up by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) to improve the regulatory framework applicable to industrial activities of environmental significance.

The Authority said the proposed system will improve the protection of the environment, while offering several advantages to industry, such as legal certainty, clearer definition of environmental liability and the opportunity to identify priority environmental issues to enable appropriate risk management.
"The system which is risk-based, focuses the regulatory efforts on activities with potentially significant environmental impacts. Examples of such facilities would include fuel and container terminals, shipyards, airports, batching plants, quarries, fish farms, waste management activities, industrial activities with a discharge to sea and certain manufacturing plants," it said.

Businesses that carry out such activities will be required to apply for an environmental permit within a set timeframe in order to continue operating. The permit will include conditions on emissions to air, discharges of wastewater, noise and vibration, management of waste and appropriate storage of materials. The environmental permit may also include an improvement programme, to ensure that compliance with environmental standards is achieved within a set timeframe.

Read the full article on The Times of Malta online, here.

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