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08 August 2016

Tougher standards will be imposed on European chemical installations subject to the Industrial Emissions Directive following the publication of Best Available Techniques (BAT) conclusions for common waste water and waste gas treatment/management systems in the chemical sector. 

The BAT conclusions are relevant to:

  • environmental management systems
  • waste water management, collection and treatment
  • waste gas management and collection
  • diffuse emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds to air
  • odour emissions
  • noise emissions. 
  • There are Associated Emission Levels (AELs) for emissions to water of total organic carbon/chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, total (inorganic) nitrogen, total phosphorous, absorbable organically bound halogens, chromium, copper, nickel and zinc. 

Most AELs for emissions to air have been moved to a separate BREF on waste gas in the chemical industry. 

In the UK, the relevant environmental regulator (the Environment Agency in England, NRW in Wales, SEPA in Scotland and NIEA in Northern Ireland) will enforce these standards through the environmental permitting regime. Our environmental law specialists assist operators throughout the UK with all aspects of the permitting regime including applications, variations, appeals, regulatory engagement and enforcement action. 

The future status and application of BREF notes and technical guidance after Brexit will require careful attention.

For more information, please contact Michael Barlow or your usual Burges Salmon contact. 

Key contact

Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG

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