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Legal permitting obligations: Do your facilities comply with all the laws and regulations?

Chemical and pharmaceutical companies handle substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment every day. That is why lawmakers impose strict rules on industry players in areas such as production, waste disposal and recycling. These rules have been tightened in response to the climate crisis, the EU targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the current geopolitical situation, among other things.

That places chemical-pharmaceutical facilities under strict permitting requirements under the German Federal Immission Control Act. But not all facilities are affected equally.

  • Are you planning to build a new plant at your site that will use chemicals and hazardous substances?
  • Do you want to modernize or expand a permitted chemical-pharmaceutical production facility that you already operate?

  • Do you want to make technical and/or structural changes to your current permitted facility?

Note: You should urgently check what permits you need to continue operating your facilities legally in order to avoid penalties or sanctions, including a government-ordered shutdown of your facility!

Flawless permitting protects your company from production losses due to environmental problems!

Immission control requirements for chemical-pharmaceutical facilities are extremely stringent – and for good reason. However, there’s one thing many companies do not appreciate:

Harmful immissions do not stop at the outer boundaries of their site!

That means operators have to do more than just protect their own employees and assets from immissions. They have to consider the site’s surroundings, too. This can include:

  • Plants and buildings operated by neighboring companies
  • Nearby commercial districts
  • Adjacent residential neighborhoods
  • Open spaces that meet the biodiversity and species protection requirements of the Habitats Directive

Consistently meeting the operator’s facility operation obligations also improves legal protection from neighboring residents and helps to avoid costly, time-consuming legal disputes. When you build a new facility or modify an existing one, it may also be helpful to include in your application an environmental impact assessment (EIA) or, if your establishment falls under the Major Accidents Ordinance (Störfallverordnung), a safety report in accordance with § 9 of the Major Accidents Ordinance.

Why you should consult Infraserv Höchst’s designated immission control experts for your permitting processes

The German Federal Immission Control Act and its permitting procedures constitute a complex field that requires in-depth expertise:

  1. Identify current requirements: Regular updates to regulations make it difficult for companies to stay on top of the latest immission control requirements and permitting procedures.
  2. Navigate a byzantine maze of laws: You will have to follow EU, federal, state and local law – Infraserv Höchst’s experts are familiar with the latest laws and regulations and will ensure you enjoy full regulatory compliance and liability protection when operating your facilities.
  3. Free up your staff: Immission control officers are also responsible for permitting procedures for facilities. This is a full-time job that requires tremendous expertise and ongoing training. It’s almost impossible to do “on the side”. When you hire an Infraserv Höchst expert, you not only free your employees to focus on your core business, but you also avoid costly mistakes in obtaining and maintaining regulatory permits for your facilities.
  4. Leverage cross-company experience: Infraserv Höchst’s external immission control officers are familiar with many different facilities and know what counts in permitting procedures and what can usually be improved.
  5. Leverage the experience of an industrial park operator: Infraserv Höchst operates Industriepark Höchst, which currently has 20 establishments as defined by the Major Accidents Regulation. Infraserv Höchst also provides immission control and permitting services to the park’s 120-plus tenants. Industriepark Höchst is surrounded by industrial facilities, multiple residential neighborhoods and special conservation areas that must be considered in permitting procedures.
  6. Get a direct line to the authorities: Infraserv Höchst stays in close contact with policymakers, government officials and organizations such as the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). That way, Infraserv’s immission control experts stay current on the latest developments in permitting procedures for facilities and can immediately share this knowledge with customers and partners.
  7. Outsource the entire permitting process: Focus on your core business and leave the red tape to experts who handle it every day for greater compliance, reduced liability and efficient, cost-effective production!
  8. Sign up for a service that meets all your needs: Infraserv has extensive expertise in all the aspects of operating chemical-pharmaceutical facilities – from waste and hazardous incident management to health and safety, immission and water pollution control and government communications.

How Infraserv Höchst can help get your facilities permitted

  • We start out by reviewing your facilities’ current permits
  • We systematically analyze your facility and compare our findings to the current immission control requirements
  • We draw up a list of actions to ensure compliance with immission control laws as cost-effectively as possible
  • We oversee the execution of all the actions that you have approved
  • One of Infraserv’s immission control experts will be your personal point of contact and provide long-term support
  • Your facility will be economically and environmentally optimized
  • We handle all your communications with government agencies

Do you want to learn more about the challenges of obtaining facility permits? Then download our white paper, which includes a brief guidebook and an expert interview!

Download the white paper

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