BAT With the New Industrial Emissions Directive
The Industrial Emissions Directive is already here, replacing the previous regulatory regime for industrial installations. For many companies, this will be a critical year to evaluate their facility for Best Available Techniques (BAT). How does the whole process work and does it have to become a major disruption to business? We explore the options available to respond to the new regulations in ways that can potentially save a company millions in capital and operational costs.
What Is BAT?
BAT represents the hardware or activity that reduces environmental emissions and risk to the lowest practical levels. However, many businesses are concerned about the high cost and significant business disruption caused during abatement technology improvements. BAT is complex and often open to interpretation. There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution and the wrong choice can be extremely costly and may not fix the issue of concern. Good advice is crucial when negotiating approved BAT improvement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
How the process works
Businesses need to take a proactive approach - through independent advice - to investigate all the available alternatives and ensure abatement is appropriately targeted.
Capital and operational costs do come into BAT. At AWN we have implemented a methodology which is acceptable to the EPA for determining environmental costs versus benefits.
Companies can and do make challenges to the EPA regarding abatement demands, avoiding multi-million euro upgrades by proposing alternative solutions. When argued in a technically proficient manner, the EPA will give careful evaluation to alternative approaches to meeting abatement obligations.
What We Can Do
AWN Consulting has recent experience in this area, negotiating solutions on behalf of clients that work both in terms of technology and cost.
AWN will examine the specific problem from several perspectives and work innovatively, using our many years' experience to:
- Identify and develop cheaper and more cost effective solutions while still meeting EPA requirements;
- Identify opportunities where the capacity of the existing environment can be utilised, so that emission limit values can be amended or increased, to avoid capital expenditure, and;
- Find effective solutions, such as an increase in stack height, that avoid the need to install an abatement device in the first place and expensive ongoing operational costs.
Not only will the abatement solution achieve BAT at the least cost, but there are wider benefits including:
- Improvements in efficiency - efficiency is key to long-term competitive advantage – AWN can integrate increased efficiencies into the solution framework, and;
- Reduction in ongoing operational costs – often operational costs can surpass capital costs over the lifespan of the equipment.
About the Author
Dr. Edward Porter is Director of Air Quality at AWN Consulting and has a proven track record of reducing the costs of environmental compliance. His clients include Arrow Group, Brandon Products, Oxigen, Kingspan, Avoca and St Gobain. He has helped companies gain approval from the EPA/local authority by implementing innovative abatement solutions that are cheaper and more efficient than initial demands from regulatory authorities.