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Closure of activity


  • Articles L512.17, L512.19, L514.19 and L514.20 of the environmental code
  • Articles R512-35, R512-38, R512-53, R512-74, R512-80 of the environmental code

The rights associated with the declaration or permit expire when operation of the classified installation does not start up within three years or the installation has not been operated for two consecutive years, except in cases of emergency.

When a classified installation is definitively shut down, the operator must:

  • notify the Prefect of this shutdown date at least three months in advance; this deadline is extended to six months for waste storage facilities and quarries
  • leave the site of the installation in such a condition that it cannot affect the interests mentioned in article L511-1 of the environmental code,
  • send the mayor or president of the competent intercommunal local authority in terms of urban planning as well as the owner of the land where the installation is set up:
    • plans of the site
    • the studies and reports sent to the administration with regard to the environmental situation and successive uses of the site,
    • his proposals on the future type of usage envisaged for the site
  • at the same time, send a copy of his proposals to the Prefect.

3Site safety3

The operator’s notice to the Prefect indicates the measures taken or planned to ensure site safety when the operation shuts down. These measures include in particular:

  • the disposal or removal of hazardous products and (for installations other than waste storage facilities) that of waste present on site;
  • site access bans or restrictions;
  • the removal of all risks of fire and explosion;
  • monitoring of the installation’s environmental effects.

3Rehabilitation after consultation3

During the definitive shutdown of an installation authorised after 31 December 2003, on a new site, rehabilitation conditions are stipulated in the permit order.
Future usage is jointly determined by the mayor or the president of the competent intercommunal local authority in terms of urban planning and, when not the operator, the owner of the land where the installation is set up.
In the absence of observations from the persons consulted within three months of receipt of the operator’s proposals, their opinion is deemed favourable.
The operator informs the Prefect and the persons consulted of his agreement or disagreement with the future type(s) of usage for the site. The persons consulted can send a memorandum to the Prefect, the operator and the owner of the land, within four months of the notification of the disagreement, on the potential manifest incompatibility of the projected usage with the future usage of the area as provided for by urban planning documents.
The memorandum also includes one or several proposed types of usage for the site. Within two months of receipt of the memorandum, or on his own initiative within two months of the notification of the disagreement, and after requesting the opinion of the operator and land owner, the Prefect makes a decision on the potential manifest incompatibility assessed as per the criteria mentioned in the third paragraph of article L512-17 of the environmental code.

In all other cases: the Prefect consults the mayor of the town concerned; in the absence of observations within one month, his opinion is deemed favourable. The Prefect can impose the operational requirements relative to the rehabilitation of the site upon the operator at any time, via an order issued after consulting with the relevant Departmental Commission.

3Easements / monitoring / protection of third parties3

When a permit holding installation has been operated on a piece of land, the person who sells this land is required to inform the buyer of this operation in writing; he should also inform him of the significant hazards or nuisances resulting from the operation, of which he is aware.
If the seller is the operator of the installation, he should also indicate in writing to the buyer whether his activity has involved the handling or storage of chemicals or radioactive substances.
The bill of sale should mention that this formality has been completed.
Failing this, the buyer can choose to continue with the sale or ask for part of the price back; he can also ask for the site to be rehabilitated at the expense of the seller, when rehabilitation costs do not seem disproportionate in relation to the selling price.