Importance of not moving pollution from one medium to another is key aim of IED, according to UK air quality scientist
The importance of not moving pollution from one medium to another is a key aim of the Industrial Emissions Directive, according to one of the UKâ€™s top air quality scientists.
The comment came in a regulatory update on the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) covering stacks â€“ or chimneys â€“ from Dr Steve Griffiths, environment modelling and team leader at E.ON Technologies at the recent Air Quality and Emissions show in Telford.
Dr Griffiths referred delegates to the IED, which applies to all new plants from January 2016 and immediately to waste plants. He was speaking at a seminar at the event on April 22.
To work out the scope of the rules involved, he said that it is â€œimportant to look at what is the thermal rating of the plant and so work out what emission ratings might apply.â€
The objective of the IED, explained Dr Griffiths, is to protect human health and the environment and to improve environmental quality by controlling the emissions from industrial activities. And, he emphasised, â€œthe focus is on technologies that donâ€™t simply move the pollution from one medium to another, e.g. from air to water. This also includes coverage of things like accident prevention.â€
This, he noted, all harmonises previous directives, including:
And, all the various topics have separate chapters in the IED but with an overarching chapter, explained Dr Griffiths, who also commented on the importance of BAT (Best Available Techniques) documents.
He said: â€œBAT must be used for emissions control and the BAT reference document produced for each industrial activity, forms the basis for future permit conditions. BAT Reference Documents (BREFs) are produced for each industrial activity and these arise following the exchange of information between Member States, industry, NGOs and the Commission. BAT conclusions summarise the BREF and form the basis of Permit conditions, and are adopted by the Commission.â€
The range of emissions to be monitored will include NOx, dust and SO2 and waste plants will have temperatures monitored as well as continuous emission monitoring.
Calculating the size of the plants covered by the legislation is complex with the need to aggregate all combustion plants on one site to determine if the installation is IED regulated â€“ and all individual plant are subject to the IED requirements if the sum of thermal ratings is greater than a thermal value of 50MW.
â€œWork on BREFs is well underway,â€ said Dr Griffiths, â€œwith the large combustion BREF started in 2011 with updated conclusions due soon.â€
He added that there will be permit reviews this year for large combustion plants while medium combustion plants are â€œgoing through the European processâ€.
The new rules governing these will probably come into force from January 2018 possible more stringent emission limit values for MCPs in air quality exceedance zones. Compliance will be by 1 January 2025 or 2030.
Dr Griffiths said: â€œThere will also be a number of draft exemptions â€“ there are still a lot of discussion to be had with this, and this is likely to have a lot of overlap with IED large sites.â€
And, Dr Griffiths noted that there are other pieces of UK legislation which may well be displaced by MCP legislation including the Clean Air Act 1993 and the Renewable Heat Incentive rules.