Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
BAT Reference Documents

A BREF is a BAT Reference Document adopted by the European Commission. The BREFs are covering the descriptions of a range of industrial processes as well as the techniques, emission levels, applicable alternative processes that can be applied. The BREF documents are the outputs of an information exchange of the technical group consisting of experts from industry, Member State authorities, research institutes and NGOs.

In 2006, the European IPPC Bureau completed the first series of 33 BREFs and launched the review of the first documents that were finalised. Each BREF is the outcome of a multiple year process involving up to 100 experts. The affected industries participate in such process usually through the corresponding industrial association, for detailed information on the process you may read the EU Commission’s Implementing Decision 2012/119/EU, which lays down the rules on that process.

See the list of BREFs in , they can also be downloaded from that link.

The BREFs available in that website at the moment of preparation of this website are the following:

  1. Ceramic Manufacturing Industry
  2. Common Waste Gas Treatment in the Chemical Sector
  3. Common Wastewater and Waste Gas Treatment/Management Systems in the Chemical Sector
  4. Economics and Cross-media Effects
  5. Emissions from Storage
  6. Energy Efficiency
  7. Ferrous Metals Processing Industry
  8. Food, Drink and Milk Industries
  9. Industrial Cooling Systems
  10. Intensive Rearing of Poultry and Pigs
  11. Iron and Steel Production
  12. Large Combustion Plants
  13. Large Volume Inorganic Chemicals – Ammonia, Acids and Fertilizers
  14. Large Volume Inorganic Chemicals – Solids and Others Industry
  15. Manufacture of Glass
  16. Manufacture of Organic Fine Chemicals
  17. Monitoring of Emissions to Air and Water from IED Installations
  18. Non-ferrous Metals Industries
  19. Production of Cement, Lime and Magnesium Oxide
  20. Production of Chlor-alkali
  21. Production of Large Volume Organic Chemicals
  22. Production of Polymers
  23. Production of Pulp, Paper and Board
  24. Production of Specialty Inorganic Chemicals
  25. Refining of Mineral Oil and Gas
  26. Slaughterhouses and Animals By-products Industries
  27. Smitheries and Foundries Industry
  28. Surface Treatment of Metals and Plastics
  29. Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents including Wood and Wood Products Preservation with Chemical
  30. Tanning of Hides and Skins
  31. Textiles Industry
  32. Waste Incineration
  33. Waste Treatment
  34. Wood-based Panels Production

The BREFs describe what is considered to be a BAT at EU level for each activity covered by the Industrial Emissions Directive (which corresponds to the Annex I of  the By-Law on Integrated Environmental Permits).  In this way they inform about what may be technically and economically available to industry in order to improve their environmental performance and consequently improve the whole environment. BREFs may either be restricted to issues related to particular industrial activities (‘vertical’ BREFs like “Cement, Lime and Magnesium Oxide Manufacturing Industries” or “Ceramic Manufacturing Industry”) or may deal with the cross- sectoral issues affecting many kinds of industrial activities (‘horizontal’ BREFs like “Economics and Cross-media Effects” or “Emissions from Storage”).

A BREF is not meant to be a textbook on pollution prevention and control techniques since extensive literature exists on the subject. Therefore, its content is limited to the information relevant for the purpose of enabling the determination of BAT and emerging techniques under the Industrial Emissions Directive.

The BREFs are used by the operators of the installations (during the preparation of the application for the Integrated Environmental Permit), the Competent Authorities (permit writers, policy makers) and the public in general.