Under surveillance

Monitoring emissions to air and water is key to complying with environmental permits. the environmentalist looks at recent developments, including the possible implications of Brexit

Legislation, standards and technology are vital players in the effective monitoring of emissions to air, water and land.

The decision of UK voters to reject continuing EU membership could have implications for all of these, among them permit conditions for installations covered by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which recast seven directives, including the one on integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC). The conditions refer to ‘best available techniques’ (BAT) for the site or installation and the measures to be followed to prevent or minimise emissions and their impact on the environment. BAT conclusions – which are mandatory in the permitting process and derogations harder to obtain – cover associated monitoring and reference documents, commonly known as BREFs. These may contain emission limits (BAT AELs) that operators must comply with.

Standards, though voluntary, could also be affected by the UK leaving the EU. These set best practice and ensure the quality of monitoring equipment and systems. Advances in software, including the emergence of apps and technology such as miniature sensors, fuel the development of new equipment (see p23) but regulation, much of it derived from Brussels, also drives system innovation.

Brexit may have implications for the development of standards, although BSI is ...

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