IPPC treatment plants – Closure

General information

If, due to the operation of a treatment plant, the health, the life, or the property of a third person is threatened or, if the operation of the treatment plant constitutes an immediate considerable threat to the environment, the competent authority shall order by decree – without prior procedure – the necessary measures. These are, for example, the closure of machinery or the partial or total decommissioning of the treatment plant.

Particularities for IPPC treatment plants

Moreover, the competent authority shall order ex officio the decommissioning of an IPPC treatment plant or of parts of it causing environmental pollution, if, after the expiry of the deadlines and after repeated reminder indicating also the legal consequences, no adaptation to the state-of-the-art has been carried out. This decree must be rescinded by the competent authority if the required implementing measures have been completed.

If the complete shut-down of an IPPC treatment plant is ordered, the plant is closed down or decommissioned the owner must

  • if a report on the original state (= information about the state of the pollution of soil and groundwater by relevant hazardous substances) is available,
    • submit an assessment of the status of soil and groundwater pollution by relevant hazardous substances which have been used, produced or released by the treatment plant.
    • If considerable pollution of soil and groundwater pollution compared to the original state has been caused by the IPPC treatment plant, the required measures to eliminate this pollution shall be presented and implemented as well,
  • if there is no report on the original status available,
    • to submit an assessment which demonstrates whether the pollution of soil and groundwater on the site constitutes a considerable danger for human health and the environment as a consequence of the authorized activity.
    • Moreover, if such a danger exists, the required measures to eliminate, prevent, mitigate or reduce relevant hazardous substances shall be presented and implemented, in order to ensure that the site doesn’t bear any risk any more.

Please note

If the owner doesn’t indicate the assessment or the necessary measures, if there are any, or doesn’t carry them out, the authority shall prescribe the required measures by means of an immediately enforceable decree.

Competent authority

The waste management authority which is locally in charge of the site:

  • The Provincial Governor German text [Landeshauptmann]
  • The Provincial GovernorGerman text may delegate procedures and supervision to the district administration authority [Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde]

Costs and fees

Costs depend on various ordinances on levies and fees. It is recommendable to gather more detailed information from the competent authority beforehand.

Legal bases

sections 51 paragraph 2a, 57 paragraph 7 and 62 paragraph 2b and 8 of the Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (AWG)

Last update: 23 January 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology