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Malta

Environmental rules

Updated 03/2013

Legal requirements

Most national legislation contains provisions for monitoring and reporting, as well as awareness-raising, and the formulation of action or management plans that set out a series of actions to improve the state of the environment.

Environment and Development Planning Act, 2010

A new Act, the Environment and Development Planning Act, 2010 (also referred to as the MEPA Act) was published on 13 July 2010 to regulate Environment Protection and Development Planning. In order to do so, the Act confirms the existence of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority as the Competent Authority regulating both matters. Other entities are being confirmed and/or constituted through this Act.

A number of Regulations transposing EU Law and other Regulations establishing procedure and which are currently in force will remain in force under the new Act. These will be complemented by new Regulations to be issued under the new Act.

Environmental control

New procedures and penalty system to curb illegal development

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) will not be accepting applications that to seek to regularize illegal development under the following categories:

1. An application to regularise a development which exceeds the approved footprint or, increases the approved volume of the building and is not part of a registered livestock farm and is carried out after May 2008 in an area which falls outside areas designated for development as defined in the Structure Plan or in any other plan; or

2. An application to regularise a development in a scheduled property; or

3. An application to regularise a development carried out after May 2008 in an area protected under the provisions of this Act or any Regulation issued thereunder.

All illegal development that falls within the above categories has to unconditionally be removed by the owner

Environmental Assessment

Environmental assessment is a process which seeks to predict, analyse and assess the likely environmental impacts of proposed plans, programmes and projects. In particular, it influences decision making processes in order to take account of and address relevant environmental issues at an early stage.

One can distinguish between two levels of environmental assessment:

A. Assessment at plan or programme level; and

B. Assessment of individual projects, which may involve development, an activity or operation.

Environmental assessment of plans and programmes is coordinated by the SEA Focal point within the Office of the Prime Minister, whilst the environmental assessment of individual projects in is coordinated by the Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) within the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA).

A. Assessment of Plans and Programmes

Environmental assessment at plan level ensures that any potential showstoppers and significant issues (e.g. cumulative impacts) are identified and addressed at a very early stage. Strategic assessments should also highlight:

  • whether and how the identified environmental impacts could be avoided or mitigated through revisions to the proposed plan or programme; and
  • relevant environmental issues which should be taken into consideration and/or assessed in more detail at the project or implementation stage.

Plans and programmes are assessed through one or more of the following:

1. Strategic environmental assessment;

2. Appropriate assessment; and

3. Cross-departmental consultation.

Not all proposed details will be available at this stage. Therefore, particular proposals may require assessment both at the plan level and project level.

1. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an iterative process which assesses the likely significant effects of plans and programmes (PPs) on the environment; seeks the views of stakeholders and the public; and influences the plan preparation process in order to address relevant environmental issues at an early stage.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations, 2010 (Legal Notice 497 of 2010 (transposing Directive 2001/42/EC, require that any PP which is likely to have a significant effect on the environment should be subjected to an SEA. The SEA Focal Point, within the Office of the Prime Minister, is the competent authority for SEA. Plan proponents are responsible for carrying out an SEA of their PPs, whereas the environmental agencies are designated as consultation authorities. As a statutory consultee, MEPA is consulted at the screening and scoping stages of the SEA process and on the environmental report and draft PP.

In preparing their PPs, and before their adoption or submission to the legislative procedure, plan proponents should take into account the SEA environmental report; the opinions expressed by the competent authority, consultation authorities and the public; and the results of any transboundary consultations.

Plan proponents are responsible for the monitoring of the significant environmental effects of the implementation of their PPs.

2. Appropriate Assessment of plans

Plans which are likely to have a significant effect on Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) have to be subjected to an Appropriate Assessment procedure in accordance with the requirements of the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations, 2006. The reasoning behind Appropriate Assessments at plan level is the same as at project level (see below for further details).

3. Cross-departmental consultation

MEPA is consulted on various draft sectoral policies, plans, programme criteria, and legislation which may not fall within the scope of the SEA Directive and/or which may benefit from early-stage inter-departmental brainstorming. Cross-departmental consultation improves awareness amongst relevant authorities on the potential environmental effects of draft policies, plans, etc; encourages discussions between different authorities to address cross-departmental issues; and reduces risks of conflicts between strategic interests at an early stage. Both EPD and the Planning Directorate within MEPA are key players in such consultations and they assess draft policies, plans, programmes and legislation in view of their potential impacts and highlight relevant issues to the responsible authority or department as part of the consultation process.

B. Assessment of projects

Environmental assessment of projects is based on a coordinated package of assessment mechanisms, applied by EPD in a systematic logical order; the resulting outcomes are fed into the development permitting/control process which is managed by the Planning Directorate in MEPA.

The main stages at which environmental assessment occurs are as follows:

1. pre-validation screening of development permit applications;

2. post-screening environmental assessments;

3, post-validation environmental assessments; and

4. post-decision follow-up (e.g. compliance monitoring; assessment of ‘reserved matters’ within the leeway allowed by permit specifications; enforcement in the event of non-compliance).

1. Pre-validation screening of project proposals

At screening stage, EPD is consulted on various types of project proposals, depending on the nature of the development, the associated environmental impacts and the sensitivity of the affected location. Examples include proposals for development:

  • outside the zones committed for development (i.e. in the countryside); on the coast; or at sea;
  • of an industrial or similar nature where operational permitting issues (often in relation to pollution control and waste management) may arise;
  • which may qualify for an EIA or AA (see relevant sections below) and/or which may affect protected areas;
  • within or in the vicinity of known/recorded environmental constraints (e.g. existing physical features of conservation value); and
  • where the site environment is such that locally-significant environmental conflicts are likely (e.g. sites encroaching onto a ridge edge, cliff, valley, watercourse or the coast).

In other locations/instances, e.g. residential areas, archaeological sites, urban conservation areas, the safeguards administered directly by the Planning Directorate and its other consultees (as part of the same development consent process) are normally sufficient for addressing the relevant issues.

At this stage, EPD’s preliminary assessment highlights:

  • potential showstoppers (e.g. objections in principle) and other significant environmental issues which are immediately apparent at screening stage; and
  • any additional information and/or technical studies (e.g. Environment Impact Assessment, Appropriate Assessment, site selection exercises/exploration of alternatives, geotechnical studies, method statements, construction management plans, etc.) that may be required for the eventual detailed environmental assessment of the project.

This feedback is provided to the Planning Directorate following consultation with all relevant functions within EPD. 

2. Post-screening assessments

Environmental assessment at post-screening stage focuses on the preparation of detailed technical studies and review of additional information requested through the screening process. Assessment at this stage mainly focuses on:

i. Environmental Impact Assessment;

ii. Appropriate Assessment; and

iii. Other technical studies.

Detailed studies, prepared as part of the EIA, AA or other relevant processes, need to be completed to MEPA’s satisfaction before validation of any formal application for planning permission. The recommendations of such studies, and EPD’s critique thereof (and any counter-recommendations on the project, as may be relevant) are taken into consideration as part of MEPA’s decision-making process during the determination of applications for development consent (i.e. at post-validation stage). This approach should ensure that formal planning applications are accompanied by all required studies and information, thereby streamlining the planning process.

i. Environmental Impact Assessment:

As a general rule, projects that are likely to give rise to high levels of environmental concern (e.g. large projects, projects with complex impacts, etc.) may require more than basic environmental assessments. The EIA process is a structured and iterative process that includes formal public consultations, detailed studies guided by terms of reference, etc. 

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) were introduced as a decision making tool in the Maltese Islands in the late 1980s. Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, as amended, is transposed into Maltese legislation through the EIA Regulations (Legal Notice 114 of 2007 as amended). These Regulations make EIA a legal requirement for proposals that are likely to have significant effects on the environment. These Regulations are currently being revised. The competent authority for EIAs in Malta is the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA).

Schedule IA of the EIA Regulations consists of two lists of projects which may qualify for an EIA. Proposals falling under Category I (Annex I of the EIA Directive) automatically qualify for an EIA, whereas projects falling under Category II (Annex II of the EIA Directive) qualify for an EIA unless it can be reasonably concluded that the proposal is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment. The latter is determined through a detailed ‘screening matrix’ in accordance with the criteria outlined in Schedule IB of the EIA Regulations (Annex III of the EIA Directive) and on the ‘Guidance on EIA Screening’ published in 2001 by the European Commission. 

During the subsequent EIA stage (known as scoping), MEPA determines the likely significant impacts of the proposed project which should be addressed in the EIA studies. These issues are identified in consultation with stakeholders and the public, and the developer is provided with targeted Terms of Reference (TOR) accordingly. The output of the studies is a coordinated document, usually known as an Environmental Statement (ES). The ES is a key requirement of the EIA process and consists of the following documents:

  • A Coordinated Assessment Report;
  • The original survey reports, known as baseline reports; and
  • A non-technical summary, in Maltese and English.

MEPA reviews the ES in consultation with its stakeholders, including Local Councils and NGOs. Comments are forwarded to the consultants for further discussions and amendment of the draft ES, as required.

Upon submission of the final draft to the satisfaction of MEPA, the ES is certified and is issued for public consultation. Furthermore, for projects falling within Category I of Schedule IA, a public hearing is arranged for where the public concerned may comment on the ES and express their views on the impact of the proposed development. 

ii. Appropriate Assessments:

Any project which is not connected to the proper management of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and is likely to have a significant effect thereon has to be subjected to an Appropriate Assessment (AA) in line with Legal Notice 311 of 2006 which transposes Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive). MEPA is the competent authority for the implementation of the Habitats Directive and the AA process in Malta.

The scope of the AA process is to inform MEPA about these potential impacts and enable it to determine whether the proposed project would have an adverse impact on the integrity of the affected site or on protected habitats and/or species. The AA focuses on the significance of the impacts on the integrity and conservation objectives of the SAC/SPA, protected habitat and/or species, in order to maintain or improve their conservation status.

The AA process stems from Article 6 of the Habitats Directive which is transposed through Regulation 19 of Legal Notice 311 of 2006. Projects are screened on a case-by-case basis in view of their likely impacts on SACs/SPAs, protected habitats and species. At this stage, MEPA needs to determine whether any potentially significant impacts exist and, if yes, whether they can be realistically avoided altogether or mitigated satisfactorily through revisions to the proposed projects or through other readily-enforceable permit conditions. However, if the likely effects remain significant or unclear, MEPA will request the applicant to carry out more detailed studies in accordance with case-specific Terms of Reference (ToRs).

If the adverse impacts on the integrity of the SAC/SPA, protected habitats and/or species cannot be reliably avoided or mitigated, and no suitable and realistic alternatives exist, then MEPA can only agree to the proposed project if there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest that are in line with strictly defined parameters. In such cases, suitable compensatory measures would need to be implemented and the European Commission informed accordingly.

iii. Additional information and other technical studies:

Any requested additional information and/or technical studies at the screening stage also need to be prepared to MEPA’s satisfaction before submission of a formal planning application. Additional information and/or technical studies may include site selection exercises, exploration of alternatives, geotechnical studies, method statements, etc. Normally, technical studies are prepared in accordance with MEPA’s case-specific terms of reference.

3. Post-validation assessments

This stage focuses on the detailed assessment of development permit applications in view of their likely environmental impacts. At this stage, EPD takes into account the screening conclusions, as well as the information and studies submitted at post-screening stage, and conclusively assesses the case in accordance with the relevant environmental policies and regulations, e.g. the EIA Regulations (Legal Notice 114 of 2007 (EIA Regulations)and the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations, 2006 (which regulate the AA process).

Normally, post-validation assessments take the form of:

(a) EPD input into the development consent process;

(b) development-related environmental permit assessments; and/or

(c) operational-related environmental permit assessments.

Environmental assessment via the development consent process:

This is a comprehensive assessment that seeks to:

  • efficiently address cases where concerns relate to clear-cut macro-issues and incompatibilities (and, often, acceptability in principle);
  • capture and address the important cumulative impacts; and
  • provide a single coherent framework for comprehensive addressing of all EPD-relevant issues. [NB: This also applies to cases that require one or more formal/detailed assessments (e.g. EIA, AA, environmental permits), as there could also be additional/overriding issues or showstoppers. For example, a development that qualifies for an AA may at the same time have manifestly unacceptable impacts on a protected geological site of scientific importance or on the natural landscape. In such instances, the overall position will ensure that the AA requirement is neither overlooked nor allowed to overshadow other independent concerns as if it were the only concern.]

When considering development applications, EPD’s detailed assessment takes into account any relevant legal requirements; the sensitivity of the location and site context; and any applicable environmental requirements and standards, so as to determine:

  • the significance of the impacts of the project on the environment;
  • any potential showstoppers or other significant considerations which would render the proposal unacceptable in principle on environmental grounds;
  • whether the identified impacts could be satisfactorily avoided or mitigated through suitable measures, amendments/downscaling/reconfiguration, relocation or alternative solutions;
  • any required development permit conditions, including: enforceable mitigation measures; any bank guarantees required to secure compliance; and parameters restricting/clarifying the scope of the permit; and
  • any relevant reserved matters the requirement to obtain any necessary operational permits after conclusion of the development control process.

Depending on the subject/nature of the proposal, a coordinated reply reflecting all relevant environmental concerns and EPD’s position is provided to the Planning Directorate.

Development-related environmental permits:

This is a formal permit from EPD for one-off interventions related to the construction phase of projects (e.g. uprooting of legally protected trees or dismantling of legally-protected rubble walls).

Operational-related environmental permits:

This is a formal permit from EPD (or equivalent registration in terms of the relevant legal notices) establishing the operational parameters which would need to be followed once the development commences. This includes operational waste management arrangements, particularly those related to animal husbandry units and industrial operations. This also includes the potential requirement of an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permit for industrial plants.

4. Post-decision follow-up:

Whether development permission is granted or refused, EPD’s input may still be required for follow-up action including:

  • formulation of fall-back safeguards in the event of any overturning of adverse recommendations by the final decision-taking Board/Commission;
  • defending the case in the event of appeals (e.g. from refusal of permit, or from permit conditions);
  • monitoring and assessing compliance with environmentally-relevant permit conditions;
  • post-permit assessment of ‘reserved matters’ (i.e. additional post-decision submissions, where the permit conditions deliberately leave a margin of leeway for continued negotiation on some very detailed specifications, within the parameters and deadlines stipulated in the permit conditions [e.g. construction management plan and method statements]); and
  • providing technical guidance and assistance to the Enforcement Directorate for follow-up action in the event of non-compliance with permit specifications.
  • LN 438 of 2011 Environmental Impact Assessment (Amendment) Regulations, 2011.

Land development

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) regulates and monitors the development and use of land through Development Control, which aims to protect the character of towns, villages and the countryside.

  • LN 457 of 2011 Development Notification (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 2011
  • LN 157 of 2011 Environment and Planning Commission (Types of Applications) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011

Waste management

MEPA is the Competent Authority ensuring implementation of local legislation namely the introduction of measures for waste prevention, ensuring that waste is managed without endangering human health and the environment, and permitting of the necessary infrastructure, such as all waste management facilities and activities in Malta. The National Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Maltese Islands is an essential element of MEPA's strategic waste management planning.

Chemicals

MEPA issues permits for large scale installations, to integrate the VOC (volatile organic compound) solvent emission regulations into environmental permit conditions. It also regulates the environmental impact of enterprises through two key mechanisms:

  • smaller scale activities, regulated through a set of General Binding Rules (GBRs) on enterprises within a common group (e.g. Chemicals, Fuels and Gases Group);
  • larger scale activities, regulated through an Environmental Permit issued on an individual basis.
  • L.N. 152 of 2012 Limitation of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products) Regulations, 2012.
  • LN 12 of 2013 Industrial Emissions (Limitation of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds) Regulations, 2013

Water

The major EU Directives related to inland, coastal and marine waters are the Water Framework Directive, (2000/60/EC; transposed by Legal Notice 194 of 2004), the Priority Substances Directive (2008/105/EC and the Quality Assurance Quality Control Directive (2009/90/EC); transposed by Legal Notice 24 of 2011) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC; transposed by Legal Notice 73 of 2011).

The implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is closely linked to the following:

  • Bathing Water Quality Directive 2006/7/EC transposed by Legal Notice 125 of 2008. 
  • Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC transposed by Legal Notice 343 of 2001.
  • Urban Waste Water Directive 91/271/EEC amended by Directive 98/15/EC transposed by Legal Notice 340 of 2001,
  • Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC transposed by Legal Notice 311 of 2006.
  • Birds Directive 2009/147/EEC transposed by Legal Notice 79 of 2006 and Legal Notice 311 of 2006.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) governs water management in the Maltese Islands. These Regulations define the Malta Resources Authority as the competent authority for groundwater and inland waters; with the exception of inland surface waters protected under the Environment and Development Planning Act, 2010. Such inland surface waters are placed under the competency of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority which is also responsible for coastal waters.

To reach its ambitious objective, the WFD is based on a plan called the River Basin Management Plan or in the Maltese context better known as the Water Catchment Management Plan (WCMP) together with a Programme of Measures (PoM).Due to its size Malta has one WCMP, covering the whole of its territory and the different water bodies. Malta's first WCMP can be accessed from the following link:

Climate and air

The Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs is responsible for the development and implementation of national Climate Change Policy in Malta.

National legislation on ambient air quality protects against significant negative effects of air pollution on human health and the environment. The main legislation is the EU's Ambient Air Quality Assessment and Management directive.

MEPA is responsible for the monitoring of air pollution in ambient outdoor air and for coordinating policy measures.

Noise protection

MEPA is responsible for the implementation of the Environment Noise Directive and national legislation is available on the following link:

  • L.N. 193 of 2004; Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise Regulations.

Shipment of waste

A small state like Malta does not have the technical capacity or facilities to dispose of certain categories of waste environmentally, therefore it provides an option for valorising and for attaining environmentally sound management of its waste by shipping it from one country to another.

Wastes for disposal - waste may only be shipped from Malta to another EU country, except the UK which only accepts waste for disposal following an official request to its Environmental Agency. The Written Notification Procedure Article 4) of the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) applies.

Wastes for Recovery - shipments of waste referred to in Article 3(1)(a) and (b) of the WSR for recovery from Malta are only allowed to EU countries and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries and countries party to the Basel Convention. The Written Notification Procedure (Article 4) of the WSR applies.

Shipment from Malta of non-hazardous (Green List) waste destined for recovery are allowed to EU, OECD EFTA countries which are also parties to the Basel Convention and specific waste streams to Non-OCED countries as listed in Regulation 1418/2007 and its amendments. The General Information requirements procedure (Article 18) of the WSR applies.

  • Competent Authority: Malta Environment and Planning Authority
  • National Legislation:
  • LN 285 of 2011 Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations, 2011
  • L.N. 440 of 2011 Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011.

Radiation Protection

The Radiation Protection Board is the primary Maltese agency charged with protecting people and the environment from harmful and avoidable exposure to radiation. Its responsibilities include:

  • setting protective limits on radioactive emissions and associated risks to public health and the environment;
  • assessing radiation risk;
  • aiding in the response to emergencies involving radioactive materials;
  • communicating - providing information and inviting participation in radiation exposure protection programs;
  • working cooperatively with industry, other agencies, and national and international organizations that have radiation protection responsibilities.

MEPA's remit under the National Environment Radioactivity Surveillance Plan (NERSP) covers four actions:

High-risk activities

A system of environmental permits is established for high-risk activities regulated by the Industrial Emissions Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations.Legal Notice 10 of 2013. Information on IPPC permitting, including how to apply and application forms, is available from:

A site-specific environmental permit may be required in the case of other sub-IPPC installations, such as in the waste management sector, manufacturing, quarries and batching plants, fuel terminals, laundry and dry cleaning, etc. Further information is available from:

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum environmental legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Declaration procedures

Land development

Applications for land development should be submitted by an architect. Details on the different application forms and the information which should be provided with an application are set out in the Planning Directorate's Guidance Notes for Architects.  Further information can be obtained from MEPA's front desk.

Waste management

Essential elements of sustainability in waste management policy are done through a process of strategic waste management planning, including the preparation of a National Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Maltese Islands. MEPA is the Competent Authority regulating waste management, and provides for the regulation of all waste management facilities and activities.

MEPA's website includes a National Waste Register providing links with information including legislation and policy, waste movement and shipments, producer responsibility (including the public registers and relevant application forms), and permits namely permitted facilities, registers waste brokers and registered waste carriers.

MEPA published a position paper on the disposal of waste at sea, which recognises the risks involved. It considers disposal of waste at sea to be considered only in the absence of an alternative disposal option, and only for inert waste. Moreover, disposal sites at sea must be designated after proper environmental assessment.

Permits and licences

Industry is regulated by the Environmental Protection Act and subsidiary legislation, including:

  • Industrial Emissions (IPPC) Regulations - covering high-risk installations, such as power stations, certain waste management activities, certain chemical plants, large farms, etc.
  • Waste Management Regulations aim to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste and by reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use, through adequate waste management. They also provide technical requirements and criteria for waste management activities
  • Additional permitting regulations - on specific issues and/or sectors, e.g. VOC solvents, marine discharges, petrol stations & fuel terminals, various chemicals, etc.
  • Waste Shipment Regulations -
  • Facilities covered by the above regulations, or whose development permit includes this as a condition, need to apply for an environmental or IPPC permit. Companies may also apply for an environmental permit on a voluntary basis.

Companies wishing to apply should fill out an application form and submit one digital and one printed copy to MEPA.

Waste management

MEPA renews such permits on a regular basis to ensure continual adequate waste management.

  • The main aim of the Producer Responsibility Regulations such as Packaging and Packaging Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Batteries and Accumulators, is to ensure that producers assume responsibility for the products they place on the market, ensuring adequate collection, reuse and recycling either on an individual basis or by joining an authorised compliance scheme, who acts on behalf of the producer.

Chemicals

The Environment Protection Directorate (EPD), part of MEPA, issues Environmental Permits to large scale installations. The EPD asks companies that fall within the scope of the Industrial Emissions (Limitation of Volatile Organic to Compounds) Regulations to apply for a relevant operational permit.

Related regulations include:

  • LN 12 of 2013 Industrial Emissions (Limitation of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds) Regulations, 2013

Sites covered by an environmental permit are inspected periodically so as to assess compliance with environmental regulations. Operators have obligation to abide with the conditions of the permit and to submit an annual environment report giving records of solvent usage and emissions.

High-risk activities

A system of environmental permits is established for high-risk activities regulated by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPCC) Regulations.

All installations which fall under Schedule 1 of the Industrial Emissions (IPPC Regulations) must obtain authorisation from MEPA to be allowed to operate. In addition to the IPPC permit, sector-specific provisions also apply in the case of large combustion plants and waste incineration plants with a capacity for non-hazardous waste exceeding 3 tonnes per hour, or for hazardous waste, a capacity exceeding 10 tonnes per day, or for plants producing titanium dioxide on an industrial scale by chemical processing.

Waste incineration plants not exceeding the above capacity, plants producing titanium dioxide without chemical processing, or certain installations using VOC solvents above a certain capacity threshold require an Environmental Permit under these regulations:

Inspections

Land development

MEPA monitors all land development operations to ensure they are only carried out in accordance with the Development Planning Act. However the Planning Enforcement Unit (PEU) has organized an effective monitoring system which collates digital data of all site inspections carried out by its inspectors and their results. This data is regularly maintained and is available on request.

All sites on which a refusal decision is issued are included in the monitoring system.

Sites are inspected periodically depending on the importance/sensitivity of the permitted/refused development. Inspections cease once a development is certified complete.

Chemicals

MEPA regulates the environmental impact of certain industrial activities through a system of environmental permits or registration (General Binding Rules). Otherenterprises of limited environmental significance (e.g. insurance companies) are exempt from control through a GBR or Permit - Manufacture of certain chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres, wholesale of chemical products, warehousing and storage of chemicals requires an environmental permit or GBR depending on the nature and size of the activity.

However the quality of the product or obligations under REACH are not regulated by MEPA.

Resources

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority provides manuals, legislation, and publications about environment.

Help & advice

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