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The updated TA Luft presents companies with a series of new challenges. Infraserv Höchst can help.
Back in December 16, 2020, the German government submitted a draft resolution to the upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, on the revision of the First General Administrative Regulation on the Federal Immission Control Act (Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control - “TA Luft”).
TA Luft is the main set of regulations aimed at reducing emissions and immissions of air pollutants from facilities that are legally required to have immission control permits. The revision aligns the latest version, issued in 2002, with the current state of the art. It also incorporates requirements from numerous EU regulations, especially those relating to immission control.
The new version of TA Luft imposes stricter limits for pollutants emitted by facilities that require immission control permits. It defines the permissible air pollution levels for ammonia, particulates or nitrogen oxides as well as maximum limits for nitrogen precipitation near the facility.
This change affects 50,000 facilities, including:
The new TA Luft also applies to recently permitted facilities such as wood pellet factories or certain biogas plants.
The German government’s draft resolution estimates the industry’s one-time compliance cost at EUR 619 million. The German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der chemischen Industrie e.V., VCI) expects much higher additional expenses, especially due to the large additional capital expenditure, extra facility operation requirements and further delays in the already highly complex and time-consuming permitting procedures.
In its 1005th session on May 28, 2021, the German Bundesrat approved the new version of TA Luft but made more than 200 individual amendments to it.
The Bundesrat expressly welcomed its alignment with the state of the art, particularly the much improved protections for nitrogen-sensitive ecosystems from the effects of gaseous ammonia. However, the Bundesrat asked the federal government to make the limit value determination more flexible in the future, stating that the current structure based on daily and half-hourly average limit values was difficult to reconcile with today’s challenges for flexible industrial processes. Annual averages might be more suitable especially for energy-intensive companies with peak emissions caused by electricity fluctuations. These amendments were approved by the Federal Cabinet on June 23, 2021.
On September 14, 2021, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety published the new version of the First General Administrative Regulation on the Federal Immission Control Act (Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control – TA Luft) dated August 18, 2021. TA Luft 2021 will come into force on December 1, 2021.
The laws and issues surrounding operational-level environmental protection are becoming increasingly complex for operators of permittable facilities. The new version of TA Luft is just one recent example.
These requirements affect all operators of facilities that require permits under BImSchG and that generate air pollution, noise or vibrations when operated as intended. Depending on the circumstances, it may even be appropriate to appoint an immission control officer for facilities that do not require permits.
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