Exemption of periodic control for EMAS registered organizations (except for specific emission controls if established differently by law)
Activities included in Annexes I.2 and II of Law 20/2009, of December 4, on prevention and environmental control of activities, are subject to an environmental control system every 4 years (Annex I .2) and every 6 years (Annex II), to guarantee the permanent adaptation of the activities to the requirements set forth in their authorisation or environmental license.
Article 71.3 of the Law indicates that EMAS organizations are exempt from periodic control, except for the specific controls of certain emissions in which specific terms have been established. These establishments may be exempt from periodic controls, but must also provide the Administration with information on compliance with the conditions of their authorization or license.
The periodic control can be replaced by the verification carried out by the EMAS verifier. For this purpose, the verifier uses a special document prepared by the General Directorate of Environmental Quality and Climate Change that collects all the relevant information extracted from the management system or the environmental declaration in order to make this exemption compatible with the operation of Law 20/2009. The document itself provides evidence of compliance in relation to the environmental license/permit. This procedure is applied within the renewal of EMAS. This must be submitted together with the updating of the renewal of EMAS to the competent authority.
The costs required to adapt the measure should not be high and it should also be taken into account the time savings for the competent authority to carry out controls within an EMAS system. Technical feasibility will depend on the level of acceptance by the different enforcement authorities.
Evidence of success
The measure are well received by EMAS organizations adding value to the advantages that incorporate the implementation of EMAS, in particular, for companies located in municipalities with special socio-environmental sensitiveness and with an active social base in the environmental preservation of the territory. The measure can contribute to increasing the number of EMAS registrations, especially in certain sectors of activity.
Potential for learning or transfer
The scope of the measure is important and very interesting due to the impact it may have on strategic sectors in each region. The measure does not require a high legislative effort to adopt it since there's a legal reference within the EMAS Regulation (art. 38) and also because it encourages self-control systems which are then validated by a 3rd party. Technically it's not an "exemption" but ”non-duplication" as the EMAS organization will use the EMAS verification process in order to provide evidence of compliance. It's necessary to develop a consensus among all involved authorities. One of the main barriers could be the lack of knowledge and information - in certain public administrations - about EMAS and its implementation. With the knowledge of this measure, EMAS Registered Municipalities could favour the implementation of EMAS in companies operating in their territory. The decrease in economic burdens derived from this measure can help promoting EMAS especially in SMEs.
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