A comparison of environmental licensing systems in operation in the wood panel manufacturing industry in the Northern Hemisphere
The objective of this thesis is to compare and contrast environmental licensing systems, for the wood panel industry, in a number of countries in order to determine which system is the best from an environmental and economic point of view. The thesis also examines the impact which government can have on industry and the type of licensing system in operation in a country. Initially, the thesis investigates the origins of the various environmental licensing systems which are in operation in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, USA and Canada. It then examines the Environmental Agencies which control and supervise industry in these countries. The impact which the type of government (i.e. unitary or federal) in charge in any particular country has on industry and the Regulatory Agency in that country is then described. Most of the mills in the thesis make a product called OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and the manufacturing process is briefly described in order to understand where the various emissions are generated. The main body of the thesis examines a number of environmental parameters which have emission limit values in the licenses examined, although not all of these parameters have emission limit values in all of the licenses. All of these parameters are used as indicators of the potential impact which the mill can have on the environment. They have been set at specific levels by the Environmental Agencies in the individual countries to control the impact of the mill. Following on from this, the two main types of air pollution control equipment (WESPs and RTOs) are described in regard to their function and capabilities. The mill licenses are then presented in the form of results tables which compare air results and water results separately. This is due to the fact that the most significant emission from this type of industry is to air. A matrix system is used to compare the licenses so that the comparison can be as objective as possible. The discussion examines all of the elements previously described and from this it was concluded that the IPC licensing system is the best from an environmental and economic point of view. It is a much more expensive system to operate than the other systems examined, but it is much more comprehensive and looks at the mill as a whole rather than fragmenting it. It was also seen that the type of environmental licensing system which is in place in a country can play a role in the locating of an industry as certain systems were seen to have more stringent standards attached to them. The type of standard in place in a country is in turn influenced by the type of government which is in place in that country.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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