Any industrial or agricultural operation likely to create risks or cause pollution or nuisance, notably in terms of local residents’ health and safety, is a classified installation.
Activities under the classified installations legislation are listed in a nomenclature imposing a permit or declaration system depending on the significance of the risks or inconvenience which may be caused :
Declaration : for the less polluting and hazardous activities. A simple declaration to the Prefecture is required
Permit : for installations with higher risks or pollution. The operator should submit an application for a permit before start-up, demonstrating risk acceptability. The Prefect may authorise or refuse the operation.
The nomenclature of classified installations is divided into two categories :
use or storage of certain substances (e.g. toxic substances, substances hazardous to the environment…).
type of activity (e.g. : food processing activities, wood, waste…) ;
The legislation of classified installations provides the State with the following power :
to authorise or refuse the operation of an installation ;
regulation (enforce certain technical requirements, authorise or refuse the operation of an installation) ;
Under the authority of the Prefect, these operations are entrusted to the Inspectorate of classified installations, made up of sworn State officials.
Legislative and regulatory references :
book V of the environmental code
decree of 21 September 1977 codified to book V, regulatory section
“risks” act of 30 July 2003 (codified)
“air” act of 30 December 1996 (codified)
IPPC directive 2008/1/CE
SEVESO II directive of 9 December 1996