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 http://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference/ , 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:
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.