Special provisions on certain activities

Chapter III lays down special provisions applicable, with some exceptions, to combustion plants, the total rated thermal input of which is equal to or greater than 50 MW, irrespective of the type of fuel used.35

Waste gases from combustion plants shall be discharged in a controlled way by means of a stack, the height of which is calculated in such a way as to safeguard human health and the environment. (Arts 28—30.)

Permits for combustion plants which were granted a permit before 7 January 2013 must include conditions ensuring that emissions into air do not exceed the ELVs set out in Part 1 ofAnnex V. Plants granted a permit after that date are subject to the partly stricter ELVs in Part 2 of the same annex.

Specific rules apply to combustion plants firing indigenous solid fuel—that is, a naturally occurring solid fuel fired in a combustion plant specifically designed for that fuel and extracted locally—which cannot comply with the ELVs for sulphur dioxide. Specific rules also apply to the setting of ELVs for multi-fuel firing combustion plants. (Arts 3, 31, and 40.)

Exemptions from the ELVs or the rates of desulphurisation may, provided that certain conditions are met, be applied with respect to plants covered by a transitional national plan (until 30 June 2020), plants subject to a limited lifetime derogation (until 31 December 2023),36 plants being part of a small isolated system (until 31 December 2019), and district heating plants with a total rated thermal input not exceeding 200 MW (until 31 December 2022) (Arts 32—35).

Operators of all new combustion plants with a rated electrical output of300 MW or more must assess whether it is technically and economically feasible to retrofit the plant for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture. In so doing they should consider the availability of suitable geological storage sites and the feasibility of transporting the CO2 to such sites. If the competent authority finds CO2 capture to be feasible, suitable space on the installation site for the equipment necessary to capture and compress CO2 shall be set aside. (Art 36.)

Chapter IV includes provisions on waste incineration plants and waste coincineration plants which incinerate or co-incinerate solid or liquid waste. If waste co-incineration takes place in such a way that the main purpose of the plant is not the generation of energy or production of material products but rather the thermal treatment of waste, the plant is regarded as a waste incineration plant.37 However, the incineration of some kinds of waste, including vegetable waste from agriculture and forestry, is exempted from Chapter IV. Permits must specify which types of waste may be treated in the plant concerned. (Arts 42 and 45.)

Waste gases from waste incineration plants and waste co-incineration plants shall be discharged by means of a stack the height of which is calculated in such a way as to safeguard human health and the environment. Emissions into air from such plants may not exceed the ELVs set out in Parts 3 and 4 of Annex VI or determined in accordance with Part 4 of that Annex. Specific requirements apply to incineration of hazardous waste and untreated mixed municipal waste.

Discharges to the aquatic environment of waste water resulting from the cleaning of waste gases shall be limited as far as practicable and the concentrations of polluting substances shall not exceed the ELVs set out in Part 5 of Annex VI (Art 46).

Residues shall be minimised in their amount and harmfulness. They shall be recycled, where appropriate, directly in the plant or outside (Art 53).

Waste incineration plants and waste co-incineration plants must be designed, equipped, built, and operated in such a way that the gas resulting from the (co-) incineration of waste is raised to a temperature of at least 850°C. Heat generated by such plants shall be recovered as far as practicable. (Art 50.) [1]

The chapter also includes further provisions on monitoring of emissions, operating conditions, and delivery and reception of waste.

Chapter V on installations and activities using organic solvents applies to activities listed in Part 1 of Annex VII and, where applicable, reaching the consumption thresholds set out in Part 2 of that Annex.

A substitution requirement applies according to which substances or mixtures which, because of their content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)[2] classified as carcinogens, mutagens, or toxic to reproduction, are assigned or need to carry certain hazard statements, must be replaced, as far as possible, by less harmful substances or mixtures within the shortest possible time. (Arts 56 and 58.)

Each installation shall be made to comply with either of two standards. Either the emission of VOCs shall not exceed the ELVs in waste gases and the fugitive ELVs, or the total ELVs, and other requirements laid down in Parts 2 and 3 of Annex VII; or the installation shall comply with the requirements of the reduction scheme set out in Part 5 of Annex VII and thereby achieve an emission reduction equivalent to that achieved through the application of the mentioned ELVs. Exemptions from the first standard may be granted by the competent authority for an individual installation where the operator demonstrates that the ELV for fugitive emissions is not technically and economically feasible. However, BAT must still be applied and no significant risks to human health or the environment may be expected. (Art 59.)

There are also provisions on, inter alia, reporting on compliance, exchange of information on substitution of organic solvents, and access to information.

Chapter VI sets out special provisions applying to installations producing titanium dioxide. This short chapter includes a prohibition on the disposal of certain kinds of waste into any water body, sea, or ocean; ELVs for emissions from installations into water and air; and some specification of monitoring requirements.

  • [1] 6 In order to qualify for a limited life time derogation the operator of the combustion plant mustundertake not to operate the plant for more than 17,500 operating hours, starting from 1 Jan 2016 andending no later than 31 Dec 2023. 37 For definitions of ‘waste incineration plant’ and ‘waste co-incineration plant’ see Art 3.
  • [2] Definitions of ‘organic compound’ and ‘volatile organic compound’ can be found in Art 3.
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