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Monitoring of environmental effects


The monitoring of the environmental effects of classified installations is controlled by the order of 2 February 1998.
The installations concerned are specified in the ministerial order : these are potentially highly polluting installations requiring a permit.
The prefectural permit order reiterates the operational requirements of the ministerial order applicable to the classified installation, taking the context into account.

3Types of monitoring3

Monitoring can relate to :

Underground water

Periodic sampling of underground water upstream and downstream of the installation should be carried out to ensure the classified installation does not contaminate the groundwater table.
The parameters to be monitored are those characteristic of the current or past activity. They are selected after consulting with a certified hydrogeologist and specified in the permit order.
Monitoring results must be sent to the inspector of classified installations. If these results reveal pollution of underground water, the operator must immediately inform the Inspectorate of classified installations. He must then determine whether his activities are the cause of the pollution observed and inform the Prefect of the result of his investigations and, when relevant, of the measures taken or envisaged.

Ambient air

Monitoring consists of sampling ambient air or dust deposits.
The parameters to be monitored, the number of gauging points and gauging conditions are also defined in the permit order or additional order.
Wind velocity and direction are also measured and continuously recorded. Monitoring results must be sent to the Inspectorate of classified installations. They verify whether the installation’s impact on the environment is compliant with that described in the facility’s impact assessment.

Surface water

Monitoring consists of periodic water sampling downstream of the wastewater emission point into the river and analysis of the different pollutants discharged by the installation.
This monitoring can be part of the emission self-monitoring process.
For the emissions of substances likely to accumulate in the environment, the operator may be required to carry out additional periodic samples and measurements of the sediment, aquatic flora and fauna.
When the wastewater is discharged into the sea, the monitoring plan is adapted to local conditions.
Monitoring results must be sent to the Inspectorate of classified installations. They verify whether the installation’s impact is compliant with that described in the impact assessment.


The general monitoring of the emissions into the air and the environment, as part of the impact assessment, makes it possible to prevent potential soil pollution.