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Saturday, 23 March 2019
Consultation meeting on Environmental Permitting


CoE Meeting with MEPA on Environmental PermittingA delegation led by President Ing. Saviour Baldacchino recently met with MEPA representatives Mr. Michael J. Sant and Ms Rachel Decelis, to discuss the issue of environmental permitting. Ings. Ray Vassallo, Nicholas Bellizzi, Daniel Micallef, Paul Refalo, Chris Sammut and Michaela Camilleri.

MEPA is currently carrying out a public consultation on a system of environmental permitting to improve the regulatory framework applicable to industrial activities of environmental significance. This system would result in improved 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 Chamber welcomed the initiative and believes that while there are financial implications, there are opportunities for professionals to exercise their expertise. There is a need to define areas where engineers would be required to give input. In this regard the MEPA representatives welcomed the Chamber’s further input on this topic.

The Chamber stated that the proposal needs to be sustainable for industry. Costs may be significant, in particular to achieve compliance. Furthermore, there is a need to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms for enforcement are in place, and that MEPA has a system of addressing complaints from industrial facilities.

The Chamber queried who should be responsible for the environmental performance of the installation. The proposal refers to a “technically competent person” which MEPA clarified refers to a company employee, although other professionals may be engaged to carry out certain monitoring or testing.

Certain technical issues were discussed in some detail, including:

  • Grease traps
  • Sewage cesspits, pipes
  • The need to ensure that instrumentation (e.g. for monitoring emissions) is calibrated.
  • The need to ensure that engineers carrying out tests are competent and insured for liability.
  • How emission limit values for boilers are set
  • Calculation of bunding requirements
  • Pool filter backwash

The Chamber stated that the polluter pays principle needs to be adopted, which would make it more economically viable for compliant operators. MEPA stated that funding can be obtained for technologies which go beyond regulatory obligations. The environmental permitting system can also help act as a driver for environmental improvement. Inspection costs are also based on the level of compliance of the operator.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 February 2012 20:13