'Permitted processes have to show that they have applied the best available technique (BAT) approach when applying for an IPPC permit'. Considering this statement, a critical evaluation will be done in this paper on the ways pollution is regulated in England and Wales and whether or not BAT should be applied.
BAT is seen to be the most effective way of controlling and reducing the emission of hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere. Following points will throw light on the purpose of BAT (Scottish Executive, 2006) & (EC, 2003).
A relevant example is of petrochemical company in South England .The requirement was to use butadiene from pure butenes for its down-stream processes knowing the fact that butadiene is a pollutant. Since it was a major requirement, they extracted butadiene from butenes using cuprous ammonium acetate. In doing so, 200 tones of ammonia and 140 tones of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were emitted in air. 300 tones of ammonia and 6 tones of copper ran into the systems purifying water (Slater, D.).
Since these amounts were disturbing, the company decided to replace the butene extraction process with a new process named 'Catalytic Hydrogenation Process' which had zero emissions to air during the reduction of butadiene to butene. The results after changing the procedures showed that annually, only 7 tones of VOCs were released in air from valves of the system and less than 1 kilogram of hydrocarbons were released to water (Slater, D.).
Another company owned by an American manufacturer of fluorescent tubes had to shift to a cleaner process in order to minimize emissions of VOCs in air. The tubes, coated with phosphor, lost 500 tones of xylene in air. It took 30 years for the company to design and implement a cleaner process that would reduce the environmental risks. A water-based carrier system was installed in the UK factory. As s result, only 1.25 tones of ammonia were lost in air annually (Slater, D.).
Pollution Regulation in England and Wales
In 2008, a consultation plan on 'The Pollution Inventory 2009-2011' for pollution regulation in England and Wales was passed by the Environmental Agency aiming to improve environmental conditions in UK (EA, 2008). The aim of Pollution Inventory (PI) is to reduce all the sources of pollution caused by the industrial activities by (EA, 2008):
Warning the industrialists about the pollution caused from industrial activities so that they realise the responsibility of being a good citizen and encouraging them to apply and use environmental- friendly procedures in installing and operating industries.
Supporting common people to gain information about pollution caused