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Ponta Delgada ,  August 29, 2010

Environmental Licensing in the Azores

The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, known as environmental licensing or IPPC, aims at avoiding or, at least, reducing the air, water or soil pollutant emissions, as well as preventing and controlling noise and waste production, in order to reach a higher level of environmental protection. Its juridical system is consecrated in the so-called IPPC Directive, which has opportunely been transposed to the domestic legal system.
This legislation comprehends the economical activities associated to significant pollution. These economical activities are established in accordance with their nature and/or capacity of production and their functioning depends on an Environmental License, issued in the Azores by the Regional Directorate for Environment.

The Environmental License requests, constituted by the IPPC form and respective annexes, are subject to public consultation and are made available at the Environmental Services of the island where the facility to be licensed is located. It is possible to present written remarks and suggestions to the Regional Directorate for Environment. These remarks will be taken into account when deciding whether to attribute the Environmental License or not.

In the Azores, 16 IPPC facilities were initially identified, being them from several sectors: energy, waste management, animal food production, dairy production and intensive bird and swine production. All of these facilities are now Environmentally Licensed.
Environmental licenses are available at

The remaining industrial facilities of the Azores are not included or were initially excluded from environmental licensing for working under the limit established by Annex I of the ICCP Diploma. However, in 2009, the Licensing Coordinator Entity of the Azores, which acts from the Regional Directorate for Investment Support and Competitiveness, revoked those decisions for two Azorean facilities: the São Miguel island slaughterhouse and the Unileite factory. On one of these cases, the limit of working license was exceeded and, on the other case, the producer considered that the limit would also be exceeded, due to improvements in the factory, in the end of 2009.

Both companies were immediately informed that they should request the environmental license and the licensing technical procedures are already being undertaken.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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