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Methodology for determining emission levels associated with the best available techniques for industrial waste water

Polders, Caroline, Van den Abeele, Liesbet, Derden, An, Huybrechts, Diane
Journal of cleaner production 2012 v.29-30 pp. 113-121
best available technology, emissions, industrial wastes, industry, pollutants, wastewater, Belgium
Emission levels associated with the Best Available Techniques, abbreviated BAT-AELs, is an important concept in the European Industrial Emissions Directive. To date, methodologies for determining BAT-AELs have not been described in literature. BAT-AELs are determined in most of the European BAT reference documents, but their determination relies to a large extent on expert judgement and even on negotiation processes between authorities and industry within the dedicated Technical Working Groups of the BREFs. The BAT-AELs determined in the BREFs give guidance for setting ELVs for a limited number of parameters, but not for all relevant parameters. This is especially the case for industrial waste water, which can contain numerous different pollutants. To support the permitting authorities in the Flemish region of Belgium in setting ELVs for all relevant parameters, we have developed a practicable, objective and transparent methodology for determining BAT-AELs for industrial waste water. The proposed methodology is based on a detailed analysis of emission data for the industrial sector under consideration. This analysis consists of five steps: 1) Selection and grouping of industrial installations, 2) Collection of emission data, 3) Selection of parameters (pollutants), 4) Analysis of available emission data in relation to BAT and 5) Determination of (differentiated) BAT-AELs. Prerequisites for applying the methodology are that the BAT for the sector have been selected and that emission data and background information are available. The methodology is presented in this paper and is illustrated by means of a few examples from Flemish BAT documents. The results and recommendations in this paper can be considered as a starting point for the development of a methodology for determining BAT-AELs for industrial waste water in the context of the BREF process.