The Alfa Acciai and Acciaierie di Sicilia steel plants both have integrated environmental permits (IEP), and continually focus on applying the best available techniques (BAT), with the aim of safeguarding the environment as much as possible.
An IEP is authorisation to operate a plant or part of a plant under certain conditions that must comply with the requirements set out in the second part of legislative decree no. 152 of 3 April 2006, as amended by legislative decree no. 46 of 4 April 2014, implementing directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (prevention and minimisation of pollution).
Alfa Acciai and Acciaierie di Sicilia have the industrial and waste management IEP, with regulations governing, among others, the following industrial categories:
When the thresholds specified in the legislation are exceeded, the IEP is the responsibility of central government, otherwise it is the responsibility of regional government.
The permits held by Alfa Acciai and Acciaierie di Sicilia are under regional responsibility.
The IEP has replaced all other authorisations and approvals regarding the environment, and those outlined below in particular for the steel industry:
In the Lombardy Region, regional act no. LR 24/2006 states provincial government as being the relevant authority for issuing, renewing and reviewing regional IEPs, as in the case of the permit held by Alfa Acciai, whereas the issue of regional IEPs is usually the responsibility of regional government, as in the case of the permit held by Acciaierie di Sicilia.
The IEP fosters the gradual adoption of the best available techniques (BAT) i.e. the best system, management and control techniques, to be applied in the design, management, maintenance and decommission of industrial processes. The aim is to safeguard the environment in general at the best, and prevent, reduce and minimize pollution as far as possible (considering emissions into the atmosphere, water and soil, and waste production) by intervening at source. This will ensure the careful management of natural resources and drive processes towards increasingly high levels of efficiency.
As a result, the BAT are updated regularly to reflect the levels of innovation and technological progress achieved. Non-binding reference documents designed to increase the understanding and effectiveness of BAT are entitled the BAT reference documents (BRefs), and have been drawn up at a European level and made available on the European IPPC Bureau website.
These documents are specific to different types of production activity, and outline applied techniques, current levels of emission and consumption, techniques considered to determine the best available techniques, and conclusions on BAT.
The specification to adopt certain types of BAT and their adoption by plant operators must still ensure application in suitable technical and economic conditions in the context of the relevant industry, and consider the costs and benefits irrespective of whether or not they are applied or produced at a national level.