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Abstract

This report describes the reasons why integrated pollution control (IPC) became accepted as a necessary part of the environmental regulatory systems of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Sweden and examines the experience these countries have had with unified environmental statutes, alternative compliance approaches, cross-media permitting, and other aspects of IPC that are under consideration in this country. The report is organized into five sections. In the first section we provide a brief overview of the intellectual pedigree of integrated pollution control, and discuss arguments that have been put forward by advocates of IPC as well as the counter-arguments of those who have taken a more skeptical view of the technical and political feasibility of implementing IPC measures. Section two details how the United Kingdom, long considered the dirty man of Europe, is developing an integrated system of industrial pollution control based on its 1990 Environmental Protection Act. The Act introduced new controls to limit and prevent pollution from a wide range of industries and has created a unified pollution inspectorate to ensure that the best practical environmental option (BPEO) for all media is achieved. We consider both the progress the UK Environmental Agency has made in IPC as well as the barriers it has encountered. In section three, we examine how the Dutch Environmental Ministry (VROM) was able to forge a consensus among diverse groups for the need to embrace innovative, integrated policies and then examine in detail the Dutch experience with alternative compliance efforts, notably their covenant system. The long-standing success of Sweden's industrial permitting system is analyzed in section 4 and in the fifth and final section we consider the development and implications of the European Union's recently adopted Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, a document which is likely to have a profound influence on environmental management in Europe and elsewhere.

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