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Solvent Use – How should industry comply?


The use of solvents in Ireland comes under 2 distinct regulatory regimes, IPPC and AIC.


The EPA is the regulatory authority in Ireland for the implementation of the IPPC Directive. While the IPPC Directive of 1996 specified an annual consumption threshold of 200 t per annum, its implementation in Ireland set the annual threshold limit at just 10 t.


The Solvents Directive of 1999 is implemented in Ireland through the Solvents Regulations (SI 543 of 2002). Where a facility comes under the regulations and does not require an IPPC licence, the facility must obtain an annual compliance certificate from the Local Authority. The compliance certificate is issued following acceptance of a report issued to it by an AIC (Accredited Inspection Contractor).

The AIC regime generally applies to smaller activities, however due to the low IPPC threshold there are activities that are not covered by the Solvents Directive but are covered by IPPC. For example under the Solvents Directive the solvent consumption threshold for web offset printing is 15 t per annum, however if you consume > 10 t per annum then the IPPC licensing regime will apply.

Where IPPC applies then the requirements of the Solvents Regulations should be included in the conditions of the IPPC licence.

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