Although the UK introduced an integrated regime in 1990 for regulating industrial processes, the current regime of Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) is founded on the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive of 1996. The UK applied IPPC through the Pollution Prevention and Control Act of 1999, and respective PPC Regulations for each of the nations within the UK.

The IPPC Directive was amended over the following years and then superseded by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) (2010/75/EU). The PPC Regulations and their amendments have applied these changes for Scotland and Northern Ireland, while England and Wales now apply the PPC regime through the Environmental Permitting Programme (EPP). However, the regulations for each of the four countries within the UK are broadly similar, reflecting the scope of industrial processes prescribed within the IED, the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (2015/2193/EU) as well as related, industrial processes that were regulated under the regimes of Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) and Local Authority Air Pollution Control (LAPC) that preceded the PPC regime.

Industrial sites that fall under PPC are known as installations. Under this regime, the operator of an installation must hold a permit to operate, which in turn specifies the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT) to either eliminate pollution altogether or to reduce pollution to harmless levels.

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