UK Government Announces New Framework to Curb Industrial Emissions

Published on: 31 August 2022
by KnowESG
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The UK government introduces a new framework to strengthen industrial emissions regulations and minimise air pollution.

Pollution from industrial emissions is expected to decrease, and environmental performance will be enhanced under a new regulatory framework that safeguards our air, water, and land.

The UK's new Best Available Techniques framework will allow regulators and industry to collaborate to develop and implement cutting-edge, challenging standards for lowering harmful emissions.

Under the permits granted by environmental regulators to industrial facilities, such as textile and chemical industries, businesses must use the best techniques available to them to prevent or minimise emissions and their impacts on the environment.

Under the new framework, the UK government and the Devolved Administrations (the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, and DAERA) will work with industry and local councils to find these methods, which are called "Best Available Techniques" (BAT), in the UK's largest industries. 

This process involves agreeing on and setting limits for emissions in environmental permits, as well as figuring out what kinds of technologies and methods operators should use to reduce their impact on the environment.

It aims to improve environmental protection by setting higher standards for industrial emissions. This is part of the UK's move away from the EU's regulatory framework and toward one that is better for UK businesses and the wellness of local communities. 

A new governance structure will also be formed, with two new independent groups, the Standards Council and the Regulators Group, comprised of government officials and specialist regulators from all four nations of the United Kingdom. 

A UK Air Quality Governance Group will also be formed to supervise the Standards Council's work and the implementation of the standards under this new framework. 

Through an advisory committee formed by the UK BAT Team, interested parties from industry, academia, and civil society will be able to participate in the functioning of the BAT system.

Environment Minister Steve Double said:

"Tackling emissions is essential to reduce the damaging effects of air, water, and land pollution on people and the environment. The new framework and collaborative approach will ensure higher standards for industrial emissions across the UK and a more effective governance structure to support the industry in finding the best available techniques to meet these standards.

"This builds on the wide range of actions we are already taking through our existing legal framework to drive down pollutants and improve public health and the environment."

Local governments already play a significant role in regulating industrial installations in England and Wales, and they have a keen interest in the impacts of emissions on the health of residents and the environment. Local governments will be included in the BAT framework for the first time under the new regime.

Some sectors in the UK had already begun a separate review process under the old EU BAT framework. These sectors will complete the BAT process, drawing on UK data submitted to the EU as a starting point, then tailoring the BAT to meet UK circumstances.

In the UK, air pollution continues to decline drastically. Through this new framework, the government is setting higher standards for the nation's top industries and taking further steps to avoid and reduce harmful emissions.

The government's Clean Air Strategy – the most ambitious air quality strategy in a generation – aims to reduce the harm caused by air pollution to human health by 2030.

Source: UK Government

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