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Chủ Nhật, ngày 26/06/2022

Some comments to the development of a Decree guiding the implementation

19/05/2021

Foreword

    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is in the process of drafting a decree to implement the Law on Environmental Protection (LEP) 2020, which contains the contents related to Article 105, applying Best Available Techniques (BAT). There are 3 major issues being considered: (1) Sector/field selection and application roadmap; (2) BAT integration and decision-making procedures and (3) business support policies.

    In order to pave the way for public opinion and to receive the opinions of scholars, researchers and businesses, this article will present and analyze each issue, Việt Nam’s approach, international experience, problems that need more comments to complete.

PART 1: PRODUCTION SECTOR/FIELD SELECTION & APPLICATION ROADMAP

    In Việt Nam, the concept of BAT has been included in the LEP 2020 and is defined as: “The best available technique is the best technical solution selected to ensure compliance with reality and effectiveness in pollution prevention and control, minimizing negative impacts on the environment” (Article 3: Interpretation of terms, amended LEP 2020). To implement BAT, identifying / clarifying the subject of BAT application is an urgent first step. The LEP 2020, Article 105, Clause 1 stipulates that: “The owner of an investment project, an establishment in the form of production, business or service that poses a risk of environmental pollution is responsible for researching and applying the best available techniques according to the roadmap set by the Government”. Also, in the LEP 2020, Article 28 stipulates environmental criteria to classify investment projects into 4 groups corresponding to groups I, II, III, IV. In which, Group I is project with high risk of adverse impacts on the environment. However, the Law of Việt Nam does not stipulate that any of the 4 groups above must apply BAT, it is not clear about the relationship between groups and subjects applying BAT.

    While in Russia, the Environmental Law 2015 clearly stipulates that industrial establishments in Group I must apply “Best technology-based standards”. The Russian Decree 2015 also stipulates that the operators of factories in Group I must apply BAT. It is conceivable that BAT is developed for sectors with factories belonging to Group I. Russias’ sectors of Group I are essentially similar to those listed in Annex I of the EU Industrial Emission Directive (2010). However, the list of these sectors also reflects the unique characteristics of the Russian economy and includes specific sectors such as oil, gas, coal and ore mining... Based on this classification, factories in Group I are required to apply for an integrated environmental license, in addition to being equipped with devices to automatically measure the volume and concentration of wastes as well as the technical means to transfer that information to a centralized environmental monitoring system. Up to now, the Federal Natural Resources and Environment Management Service is acting on behalf of businesses in collecting and analyzing data of the Federal Register System on factories in Group I.

    It is necessary to identify who must apply BAT right from the Law, that helps people and businesses clearly define responsibilities and avoid disputes. In the United States, although their Environmental Law is not designed based on technology, many of the programs that implement the Law are based on technology. These two regulations are closely related, such as the Clean Air Act explicitly states the pollutants and the sectors/fields that are likely to generate pollutants. Based on this, the new source program makes more detailed the level of discharge of sources as a basis for application of BAT.

    In the EU, the list of sectors and pollutants is specified in Annex I, the Industrial Emission Directive (IED) 2010. To identify BAT applicants, industrial activities are grouped for information exchange. These groups must be approved by IED’s Article 13 Forum. The thresholds to be considered vary in form, such as production capacity/time unit, level of operation... It should be noted that the IED does not define a threshold for the chemical sector, which means that all industrial-scale chemical plants must comply with the IED and key BREF References.

Table 1: EU BREFs, BAT Conclusions and REFs

Industrial sector/Activity

Types of document

Date of publication/Status

Ceramic manufacturing industry

BREF

August 2007

Common wastewater and waste gas treatment/ Management systems in the chemical sector

BATC, BREF

June 2016

Common waste gas treatment in the chemical sector

 

Drafting of BREF

in progress

Emissions from storage

BREF

July 2006

Energy efficiency

BREF

February 2009

Ferrous metals processing industry

BREF

December 2001

Food, drink and milk industry

BREF

August 2006, January 2017

Industrial cooling system

BREF

December 2001

Intensive rearing of poultry or pigs

BATC, BREF

July 2017

Iron and steel production

BATC, BREF

March 2012

Large combustion plants

BATC, BREF

July 2017

Large volume inorganic chemicals - Ammonia, acids and fertilisers

BREF

August 2007

Large volume inorganic chemicals - Solids

and other industries

BREF

August 2007

Large volume organic chemical industry

BATC, BREF

December 2017

Manufacture of glass

 

March 2012

Manufacture of organic fine chemicals

 

August 2006

Non-ferrous metals industries

BATC, BREF

June 2016

Production of cement, lime and magnesium oxide

 

April 2013

Production of Chlor-Alkali

 

December 2013

Production of polymers

BREF

August 2007

Production of pulp, paper and board

BATC, BREF

BATC September 2014,

BREF 2015

Production of special inorganic chemicals

BREF

August 2007

Refining of mineral oil and gas

BATC, BREF

October 2014

Slaughterhouses and animal by-products industries

BREF

May 2005

Smitheries and foundries industry

BREF

May 2005

Surface treatment of metals and plastics

BREF

May 2005

Surface treatment using organic solvents

BREF

August 2007, October 2017

Tanning of hides and skins

BATC, BREF

February 2013

Textiles industry

BREF

July 2003,

review started

Waste incineration

BREF

August 2006, May 2017

Waste treatment

BREF

August 2006, October 2017

Wood-based panels production

BATC, BREF

November 2015

Economics and cross-media effects

REF

July 2006

Monitoring of emissions from IED-installations

 

REF

July 2003,

revised June 2017

Source: BAT for Preventing and Controlling Industrial Pollution, EU 2017

    In South Korea, the selection of sectors for BAT development using statistical methodology and based on an environmental performance scoring system allows to identify the sectors with the greatest environmental impact. During the 2016 - 2021 period, South Korea selected 17 fields for the BREF drafting, listed in Table 2, along with publication dates and 3 target sectors.

Table 2: South Korean sectoral BREFs

Industrial secto /Activity

Status

Year

of publication

Large combustion plants

(Covers 2 sectors: Electric power and steam production)

Published

2016

Waste incineration

Published

2016

Iron and steel production

Published

2017

Non-ferrous metals industry

Published

2017

Large volume organic chemical industry

(Covers 2 sectors)

Published

2017

Refining of mineral oil and gas

Formal draft completed

2018

Large volume inorganic chemicals

Formal draft completed

2018

Organic fine chemicals and special inorganic chemicals

(Covers 2 sectors)

Formal draft completed

2018

Fertilizer industry

Formal draft completed

2018

Production of pulp, paper and board (Covers 2 sectors)

In progress

2019

Production of electronic parts 

In progress

2019

Semiconductor industry

In progress

2019

Textile industry

In progress

2019

Plastic industry

In progress

2020

Food, drink and milk industry

In progress

2020

Slaughterhouses and animal by-products industry

In progress

2020

Auto parts and equipment manufacturing industry

In progress

2020

Source: BAT for Preventing and Controlling Industrial Pollution, EU 2017

    For Việt Nam, experts say that “Establishments in the form of production, business and service likely to pollute the environment” as defined in Article 105 of the current LEP 2020 can be understood as 17 types of industrial production at risk of polluting the environment specified in Appendix IIa, Government’s Decree No. 40/2019/ND-CP dated 13th May 2019. This can be confirmed in the content of the coming Decree.

    However, not all businesses in the 17 production sectors mentioned above are required to apply BAT. In Russia, for businesses in the Group I, only 300 factories out of thousands of businesses have to apply for BAT integrated license. In South Korea, out of the total 40,000 industrial establishments, about 1,350 are classified as high-discharge and responsible for 70% of total industrial pollution. Separation of high-discharge groups was determined based on monitoring data and statistical analysis of South Korea.

    To identify who complies with BAT regulations, experts and Law drafters need to review and develop Việt Nam’s emission indicators as a basis for source classification. Source’s potential to emit (PTEs) is the maximum capacity of a fixed source that can emit any air pollutant according to its design or physical configuration and operation. PTEs have many different thresholds, the PTEs indicator set also has to consider the regional perspective and many other specific conditions involved. The content of the indicator set will also be the content of the Decree on BAT that the drafting team is considering to include.

    One of the contents set out in the Decree on BAT this time is to determine the roadmap for BAT application in Việt Nam. In a study on BAT in 2020, the research team proposed a roadmap of steps to implement BAT in Việt Nam, including: Development of a legal framework on BAT (Adopted in November 2020); Decrees under the Law; Assignment of focal points; Establishment of TWGs (Technical Working Groups); Selection of subjects; Survey to collect technology information; Assessment and selection of BAT; Development of BAT reference profile; Approval and enforcement. According to the OECD assessment, it normally takes 4 years on average to fully implement this roadmap for a sector (39 months for BAT assessment and 12 months for consultation). This means, until 2025 Việt Nam can apply the BAT.

    A shortened roadmap is being proposed, whereby some sectors can immediately apply international BAT regulations, shortening the time for survey and assessment. The LEP 2020, Article 105, Clause 3 states “… consider recognizing the best available techniques applied in the Group of industrialized countries permitted to be applied in Việt Nam”. This provision gives Việt Nam immediate access to existing international regulations. In the roadmap for BAT application, according to the experience of other countries, Việt Nam also needs to identify groups of businesses that have priority in applying BAT.

    In fact, BAT has been applied in a number of industrial sectors in Việt Nam due to the need of businesses to innovate technology, improve productivity and meet the requirements of international markets. However, most businesses currently do not understand BAT. Therefore, the development of specific guidance on BAT provisions in the amended LEP 2020 is very urgent, in which, priority should be given to selecting the production sector/field and the application roadmap.

Lê Minh Đức

Independent Consultant

Nguyễn Thị Hồng Lam

Environmental Science Institute, National Taiwan University Fellow

(Source: Vietnam Environment Administration Magazine, English Edition I - 2021)

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