ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND THEIR EXECUTION IN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY

 

Prof. Dr. D. Übing and Dr. L. Kropp

TÜV Rheinland, Am Grauen Stein, 5000 Köln 91, Federal Republic of Germany

 

 

1.Introduction and fundamentals

 

The modern industrial society generated a great wellbeing of man due to the use of technology. This, however, also leads to environmental impact and safety risks to a large extent.

 

Safety and environmental policy must therefore intend to reduce impact, hazards and risks to man and nature as effective as possible.

 

The main principles of environmental policy in the Federal Republic of Germany are

-           the prevention principle

-           the "polluters pay" principle

-           the cooperation principle

The COOPERATION PRINCIPLE, requires the joint activity of official parties, the plant operators and the public to avoid environmental damage, hazards or molesta­tions. It also requests international coopera­tion in environmental policy.

 

The "POLLUTERS PAY" principle requests that whoever has caused a damage must pay for its consequences. It therefore is an economic means to reduce emissions at the sources.

 

The PREVENTION PRINCIPLE asks to avoid environmental impact, hazard or damage instead of repairing damages. This goal shall be reached by

-Setting Uniform Emission Standards

-           Setting Environmental Quality Objectives

-           Applying Cross - Media Approaches

 

UNIFORM EMISSION STANDARDS mean maximum emission standards or emission limits which can be attained when applying the state of the technology or even the state of the science. Prevention also requires revision of these emission standards from time to time.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OBJECTIVES mean maximum environmental standards being set so that e.g. pollutants do not harm critical receptors like man and nature as well as the quality of air, of water and of soil.

 

Applying CROSS-MEDIA APPROACHES mean that different media like air, water, soil and their interrelationship are considered together - not separately. A very concrete tool for this is the guideline of the European Community of the German law on Environmental Impact Assessment for certain and private projects. Therefo­re, when fixing environmental quality objectives the consequences with respect to other media have also to be taken into account.

 

The measures to achieve environmental protection policy in the FRG are in general:

-           measures with respect to plants

-           measures with respect to products

-           measures with respect to regions.

 

Environmental protection with RESPECT TO PLANTS is practiced via the strong performance of licensing procedure for every plant. Especially emission stand­ards must be met and modern technologies must be employed. More details will be presented later.

 

Environmental protection with  RESPECT TO PRODUCTS is for instance  done by applying the law and its regulations for the introduction of chemical substances (Chemikaliengesetz, Gefahrstoff-Verordnung). Each chemical substance has to be checked in advance that adverse effects will not arise before the substance is brought into use. Another example of measures with respect to products is the limitation of sulfur content in fuels and of lead content in petrol.

 

Environmental protection with RESPECT TO REGIONAL ASPECTS is attained by e.g. clean air plans or noise reduction plans as they are required by the environmen­tal protection laws and its regulations. Sorting from the actual environ­mental situation the dominant responsible sources are evaluated where reduction measures yield the highest effect on environ­mental impact.

Whereas these instruments are more reactive measures, there are also obligatory preventive instruments with respect to regional aspects as the water handling plans (Wasserwirt­schaftsplan), the waste handling plans (Abfallwirtschafts­pläne), regional planning (Regionalplanung und Raumord­nung), land use plans (Bau­leitpläne), preventive site planning (Standortvorsorgepläne) and others.

 

2.             Organisation and legislation

 

The responsibility in the frame of the environmental policy is  with the federal government (figs. 1 and a). The federal government or the respective ministry define contents and procedures of the different objectives as well as emission and quality standards. So, the federal government is the legislative  organiza­ti­on while the federal states are the executing ones. They have to watch over and to advice the licensing and supervising bodies when performing their tasks. The licenses for chemical plants, waste handling plants and similar plants are given by the regional administration (e.g. Regieringspräsident), while licenses for smaller industrial works or power stations are given by the Factory Inspec­torates (Gewer­beaufsichtsämter).

 

The supervision of all plants mentioned before is in the responsibility of the factory inspectors. This supervision concerns the environmental aspects, the safety aspects as well as the working place aspects.

 

Assistant technical and scientific bodies to the environ­mental  minis­tries are the federal environmental protecti­on agency (Umweltbundesamt) and the federal state institu­tions for environmental protection (Landws­anstalten für Umwelt­schutz). The latter ones give scientific advice as well to the state ministries as to the licensing and supervising bodies, they also are responsible for the establishing of e.g. clean air plans and regional data collection on environmen­tal impact. The Environmental Protection Agency give scientific advice to the federal government and coordinates research and development projects of environ­mental concern.

 

All the official bodies are supported, e.g. in the licensing procedures by independent experts or expert organizations like the TUV which are accepted by the state ministries as qualified and independent.

 

The administrative tools for achieving the environmental policy are the corres­ponding laws (about 20), ordinances, regulations (more than 40) and administra­ti­ve guidelines, examples of which are listed in figs. 2, 3, and 4.

 

The requirements of ordinances are compulsory for the plant operators while the administrative regulations are obligatory for the licensing or supervising authorities.

3.          Current concerns, development

Industrial and economic development lead to environmental and ecological impact, molestations, hazards or even damages. Some remarkable events of public and official concern on environmental aspects were:

-The Seveso accident with high air and soil pollution and - some years later - with problems of waste tourism.

-Flixborough incident with high damage within the plant.

-The forest damages in the German black forest and in Czekoslowakia as well as the acidification of

Scandina­vian seas.

-The Chernobyl accident with increased radioactivity in Europe.

-The Sandoz incident with heavy hazards to aquatic life in the Rhine.

 

Actually, the soil contamination at sites of old plants raise problems when reusing these areas especially for living or recreation.

 

All these events raised the necessity and engagement of administration and public in environmental affairs and initiated revisions and amend­ments of laws and regulati­ons. The most important shall be discussed in the follo­wing.

3.1Main Environmental Law (Bundesimmissionsschutsgesetz)

The fundamental law for the protection against air pollution is the Federal Environmental Protection law of 1974, a successor of the old Trade Ordinance  of the 19th century. The main administrative regulation to this law are the techni­cal instruction to protect air quality (so called TA Luft or TI Air) and the technical instruction for the protec­tion against noise (so called TA Lärm or TI Noise).

The objectives of the TA Luft (fig. 5) were to restrict the release of polluting substances by setting emission limits and to reach air quality standards. The first TA Luft came into force in 1964 even 10 years before the Environmental Protection law was introduced. In the mean time the TA Luft was revised three times.

 

The 1964 version requested formalized licensing procedures for such industrial plants listed in a catalog of environ­mentally relevant plants. Aft that time it was introduced to measure the ambient air quality in the surrounding of the plant (circle with 3 km radius). Ambient air quality standards were set for 8 pollu­tants. Emissions were to be released via stacks with special requirements. Emissions standards were fixed for the main components dust and sulfur dioxide. Special requirements were requested for 7 plant types.

The first revision of the TA Luft in 1974 introduced further emission limit values for 3 classes each of (56) dust and (127) gaseous pollu­tants. Continuous emission measurements were asked for 9 air polluting components. Special require­ments were requested for 8 more plant types.

 

The 1983 revision of the TA Luft then included ambient air quality standards for 5 more components. These standards were stronger by two means: Firstly, the figures were reduced and secondly, the differential geographical area of judge­ment (Beurteilingsfläch) was reduced from 4 km x 4 km to 1 km x 1 km size.

 

The latest amendment of 1986 extended the special emission requirements to 35 more plant types. It included also that bad smell and its molesta­tion impact had to be taken into account. Finally, the 1986 version requested the retrofit­ting of existing plants and installations until 1994 under the following conditions: If emissions exceeded the new emission standards by a factor of 3, of 1.5 or of 1 the maximum time available for reduction was set to 3, 5 or 8 years.

 

Some typical emission standards are shown in fig. 6.

 

Depending on the mass flow of pollutant concentration limits are set as the example for dust illustrates: below a mass flow of 500 g/h the emission limit is 150 mg/m3 maximum.

 

Three years before this last TA Luft revision came into force a reducti­on program of the main pollutants was initiated for the large combustion plants. A corres­ponding ordinance was elaborated with strong emission limits of SO2 and NOx for new plants.

Stringent measures had to be realized on due course at operating plants (so called "old" plants).

 

The objectives of the 1983's ordinance on large furnaces were to reach emission values of less than 400 mg SO2/m3 and about 800 to 350 mg NOx/m3 for new plants. The goals for old existing plants depended on the expected life times. A time schedule correlated with more or less strong emission limits were set up in the large combustion plant ordinance. While the SO2-limit was fixed one, the NOx-reduction should follow the dynamic principle of best reachable means (Dynami­sie­rungsklausel). Some data on emission limits are given in (fig.7) for orienta­tion. The environmental minister's conference some months later fixed the goal for the NOx-emission limit to less than 200 mg NOx/m3.

 

Finally, until 1993 old plants ought reach the requested emission limits or should be replaced by new plants.

 

It is expected that due to these measures the sulfur-dioxide emission of power plants will be reduced until 1993 at the latest against 1982 as follows:

Sulfur dioxide by about 2/3

nitrogen oxide by about 50% and

dust by about 1/3.

 

A third regulation in the field of air pollution deals with the reducti­on of air pollutant emissions from motor vehicles and domestic heating by fixing maximum pollutant content in fuels (fig. 8).


The law on the lead content in gasoline of 1971 (rev.1976)

requested maximum permissible values of

 

0,4  Pb/l from 01.01.1972 and

0,15 Pb/l from 01.01.1986 onwards.

 

The ordinance on gasoline quality of 1985 defines lead-free qualities of fuels with values of 0,015 Pb/l, in practice the lead contents amounts to 1 or 2 mg/m3, only.

 

The ordinance on the sulfur content in fuel of 1975 requested values of 0,55 % als per May 1975, of o,5 % as per May 1976 and 0,3 % as per January 1979. At present a value of 0,15 % is discussed as goal in the Fed. Rep. of Germany while in the European Community a reduction to 0,2 % is seen as strongest limit.

 

These measures and the introduction of low pollution vehicles shall reduce the emissions from the car traffic as follows:

Nitrogen oxide by about 50 % and

hydrocarbon by about 2/3.

Taking all aforementioned measures together due to the

-large furnace ordinance

-technical instruction on air pollution (TA Luft-emission reduction  measures)

-introduction of lead free petrol with NOx-reduction

-reduction of sulfur content

 

This will lead to an overall reduction of the main polluting components SO2, NO2 and dust as shown in Figure 9.

 

The objectives of the technical instruction on noise protection (TA Lärm or TI Noise) are:

-measure for the protection against noise must be in accordance with the actual state of technology of noise abatement.

-environmental noise load objectives in the plants's neighbourhood must be met.

 

Otherwise a license to operate industrial facilities cannot be given. The environmental noise laid objectives are different  with respect to night and day levels and with regard to the use of the areas to be protected. These values cover a range between 70 dB (A) and 35 dB (A).

 

In contrast to the TA Luft (TI Air) the TA Lärm (TI Noise) do not state emission limits.

 

3.2Law ont the Water Protection and Waste Water Handling

 

Though the highest environmental concern was with the air the water was the second important medium to be protected. There was the first Water Act set up in Preussia (Preussen) in 1935. It was then superseded by the German law on Water Protection and Waster Water Handling in 1957. Meanwhile it was amended or revised 5 times (the latest revision is of 1986). The objective of the water and waste water law is to regulate the handling and taking care of all kinds of water: surface waters, coastal waters and ground water. As the water is one important part of the natural ecosystem it must be handled economically and pollution shall be avoided. The law also regulates the licensing procedure for pipelines to carry substances dangerous for the waters.

 

Other requirements of the law are:

-to supervise the state of the water and waste waters

-to name responsible persons in the operator's plants for water affairs (Wasserschutzbeauftragter)

-to charge pollution load in the waste water in order to introduce public measures e.g. water cleaning plants

-to control pollution according to the rules of technolo­gy and in case of dangerous substances according to the state of technology.

 

Especially the last mentioned requirement of water control with respect to dangerous substances was introduced in the 1986 version. That means also that primary measures to reduce emissions at the sources must be performed in addition to cleaning measures.

The 5th revision of the water use law of 1986 introduced new parameters and more substances (fig 10):

From 01.01.1­989 levies are raised for organic halogen-compounds and for the heavy metals chromium, nickel, lead and copper from 01.01.1990 onwards. This waste cess act has come into force in 1989.

 

The amended waste water cess act now defines the levies according to the real emission data, whereas in the former version levies are accor­ding to generalized data which have been approximated to the real data. On the other hand, if reduction measures in real use are more effective than the normally accepted technical experience the levies might be reduced. So, an economic aspect was introduced in addition.

 

Further compounds to be included in the ordinances in the next future (01.01.19­92) will be ammonia and phosphorus.

 

Following the prevention principle technical requirements for the water protec­tion will also be asked for plants and installations for producti­on, handling and use of dangerous substances in addition to the present requirements for plants for storage, trade and filling.

 

3.3Waste law

Another concern is the waste handling and disposal. We remember the problematic with the contaminated soil from the Seveso accident and we know about the problem of milk powder we have as radioactive contamina­ted substance stored in the Fed. Rep. of Germany since the Chernobyl accident.

The former German waste (removing) law of 1976 primarily regulated the handling, removing and depositing of wastes with lowest environmental impact. The most important new requirement of the waste law of 1986 is to avoid and to reuse wastes as effective as possible. So, the priori­ties for waste handling are

-to avoid wastes

-to reduce wastes

-to recycle wastes or waste components.

-to remove wastes

 

The main objectives of the law are to avoid any hazards or damages to the health of human beings, to animals, to soil, water and plants as well as to avoid environmental impact due to air pollutants or noise. In order to manage the waste law a technical instruction on waste handling (TA Abfall or TI Waste) especially with respect to depositing areas, to waste burning plants, to chemical physical and biological handling of wastes and other problems is in preparation.

 

It is also introduced in the law for the first time that residues or waste components must be taken back by the producer or it must be guaranteed that products are reused or deposited without environmental damage. So, for instance, the suppliers of motor oils are obligated to take back the used oil.

The waste law asks the federal states (Bundesländer) to establish plans for removing wastes and for the siting of waste handling, waste burning and waste depositing plants. The operator of such plants has to document kind and amount of wastes handled. He also must name a person responsi­ble for wastes (Betriebs­beauf­tragter für Abfall). The law asks for licensing procedures for these types of plants.

 

The technical instruction on waste handling (TA Abfall) is under discus­sion. The implementation of this regulation shall fix licensing and handling procedures and this shall help to reduce environmental risks. The means to reduce the amount of wastes and their reuse and recycling shall be implied as much as possible. Wastes shall be collected, hand­led, stored and removed following the best available technics.

 

3.4Soil protection

 

Another part of environmental concern is connected with the problematic of pollutant impact in the ground and soil from former industrial activities and former depositing. A sanitation concept for the old impacts in the soil is necessary.

 

Therefore, strongly correlated to the waste handling is the protection of soil. Beu also air pollution and water polluting influence the soil quality. Though it is not the intention to introduce a "SOIL LAW" the federal government establis­hed a soil protection program (Bodenschut­spro­gramm).

 

Two main fields of activity are mentioned.

-           to economically use the soil

-to avoid or minimize the input of pollutants from industry, trade, traffic, agriculture and households into the soil.

Whereas air pollution and water pollution is recognized quite soon after release pollution of the soil is perceived only wit delay because pollutants are accumu­lated over long times until the damage is experien­ced. In our country we by now have knowledge of more than 40,0000 contaminated sites with high impact (in Germany named Altlasten, Alt­standortre, a term that stands for a burden handed down from the past). It must be expected to find about 30 to 40,0000 more problematic sites. About 30 % of all will have to be reactivated or sanitation is necessa­ry.

 

The protection of soil was thought in the past to be sufficiently regarded upon by introducing limit values in the other laws e.g. dust fall emission standards in the air laws and regulations on quality standards of deposited wastes from water cleaning installations (Kläran­lagen). The latter data however are only valid for areas of agricultu­ral use.

 

Some more experience is also necessary with respect to soil impact with persis­tent substances. We only have rough knowledge about soil pollution values as orienting data like the data given in (fig. 11). There are mentioned somewhat "tolerable limits" for heavy metals from German, Dutch an AU-practices.

The German data define the tolerable limits to bring out wastes from water cleaning plants into agriculturally used soil. The Dutch data correspond to limits when (1. value) further investigations of the soils are necessary and when (2. value) there is a sanitation necessary. The US-date are values of measured background contents in the soil.

 

The recommended methodology for the treatment of contamina­ted sites and old waste e depositions follows five steps after the initial identifica­tion:

 

1.The initial estimation of an identified waste deposition stite ("Erstbewer­tung") resulting in a first appraise­ment of the site and an initial approach to ongoing activities.

2.The detailed site exploration ("Standortsicherung") including geology and hydrogeology of the site, soil mechanical investigations and the identifi­cati­on and quantitative determination of the waste types as well as an analysis of the potential risk.

3.The safety assessment of the site ("Bewertung") and identification of safety categories:

             -       non-dangerous, i.e. release out of monitoring is advisable,

-           no present danger, i.e. continuous monitoring recommended,

-dangerous, i.e. priority for recultivation has to be recommended,

-acutely dangerous, i.e. emergency protective action is necessary

4.The development of a recultivation concept and the final recultivati­on of the site ("Sanierung") including the succeeded monitoring of the recultiva­ted site to prove a long-term success of the recultiva­tion for air, soil and groundwa­ter.

5.The final estimation of the success of the recultivation ("Bewertung des Sanierungserfolges").

 

We realize that from the soil protection program there is a connection to the AIR, WATER, and WASTE LAWS, In each field it is necessary to reduce emissions at the sources according to the state of technology and in each field control measures are required to reduce the release of emissions.

 

3.5Law on the Environmental Impact Statement (UVP-gesetz)

Especially, the soil protection shows the necessity of cross media approaches. One tool to handle this cross media and overall approach is the environmental impact assessment (EIA). The EIA aims to protect air, water, soil, climate, landscape as well as plants, animals and nature, goods and cultural relicts and their interdepences.

 

The guideline (EIA) of the European Community set up in 1985 is trans­formed into German regulation and law by February 1990. My personal opinion is that the EIA is an instrument or better to say a  procedure that must start at a very early stage of project planning and that would allow and force also public information and discussion. This need not result in more and longer administrative proces­ses. It can help to find better and more accepted solutions in environmental protecti­on. It need not necessarily result in a blow up of the actually practi­ced licensing procedures but it can force to stick to the relevant and most important environmental problems during planning and licensing.

 

 

3.6Major Accident Hazards of industrial Activities (Störfall-Verord­nung)

 

In the European Community as well as in the Fed. Rep. of Germany the Seveso event initiated activities to establish stringent  regulations and directives in order to reduce the probability for industrial acci­dents in general, and especially those with releases of substances.

 

In the Fed. Rep. of Germany an ordinance concerning major accident hazards was published already in 1980 and revised in 1988. The objecti­ves and requirements were:

A safety analysis must be performed for certain industrial plants in which certain hazardous chemical substances are handled, stored or amy be generated due to malfunction.

 

A safety report must be prepared and it is to be kept at the disposal of the supervising authority (factory Inspectorates).

The main objectives of this ordinance are to avoid accident hazards and to set precautions to keep impacts as low as possible in case of acci­dents.

 

Additional administrative regulations define details which have to be taken into account when performing the safety analysis and its repor­ting. Further to that,, the scope of application was defined, i.e. which industrial plants (more than 20 different types) are concerned and which substances (about 320 different compo­nents) are handled.

 

It is requested to perform safety analysis for all plants which require a license. Plant operators are obliged to keep actual listings of all materials stored  in the plant. These listing must be made available to the supervising authority in order to allow for adequate measures in case of an accident.

 

Plant operators have to deposite the safety analysis report with the authority. This shall allow better planning of alarm plans  contingency plans.

A revision of the German major accident hazard ordinance which came into force in 1988 lead to a severe enforcement and now covers approx. 4000 facilities within the FRG.

 

4.Execution of Environmental Policy

 

The installations requiring licenses are listed in detail in a Federal Govern­ment ordinance (4. Ordinance to the Environmental Law, 4 BImSchG). The obligati­on of the operator, the prerequisites for licenses and the require­ments in relation to erection, nature and operation are laid down in another ordinance (9. BImSchV). It lays down the license application procedure:

written application, drawing up of technical documents, publication in the official gazette and daily news-paper, presentation for inspection over a 2 months period by the public concerned, written notice of authorization. Major changes to those installations which require a license for operation must also go through the license application procedure, unless it is obvious there is extensi­ve improvement. Where justified, additional official directi­ons are possible at any time, as is cancellation of license and closing down and removal of installa­tion. In the case of smaller installations with low levels of emission, a "simplified" licensing procedure applies in which publica­tion does not take place.

 

A number of -at present 16 - ordinances to the main environmental law (BImSchG are existent:

1st ordinance (ordinance covering small boiler plants - 1st BImSchV)

2nd ordinance (ordinance for restricting emissions of highly volatile halocar­bons - 2nd BImSchV)

3rd ordinance (ordinance covering the sulphur content of light heating oil and diesel fuel - 3rd BImSchV)

4th ordinance (ordinance covering installations requiring authorization - 4th BImSchV)

5th ordinance (ordinance covering immission protection representati­ves - 5th BImSchV)

6th ordinance (ordinance covering expertise and reliabi­lity of immissi­on protection representati­ves - 6th BImSchV)

7th ordinance (ordinance for limiting the discharge of wood dust - 7th BImSchV)

8th ordinance (ordinance covering lawnmower noise - 8th BImSchV)

9th ordinance (ordinance covering the basic principles of the authori­zation procedure - 9th BImSchV)

10th ordinance (ordinance covering the restriction of polychlorinated biphe­nyls PCB, terphenyls PCT and vinyl chloride VC - 10th BImSchV)

11th ordinance (emission declaration ordinance - 11th BImSchV)

12th ordinance (installation disruption ordinance - 12th BImSchV)

13th ordinance (ordinance covering large-scale boiler plants - 13th BImSchV)

14th ordinance (ordinance covering installations for defence of the country - 14th BImSchV)

15th ordinance (ordinance covering building machine noise- 15th BImSchV)

16th ordinance (ordinance covering protection against traffic noise - 16th BImSchV)

 

The main ordinances for licensing procedures of technical installations are the 4th and 9th BImSchV:

4th ordinance (ordinance covering installations requiring authorization - 14th BImSchV)

This ordinance lists in detail all installations for which a formal authorizati­on procedure must be carried out and which can be carried out and which can be dealt with according to a simplified procedure. A formal application procedure is requested for all large-scale installa­tions with large emissions, thus for example, boiler plants above 10 MW thermal output, waste disposal plants, crushing plants, melting plants foundries, chemical manufacturing plants, refinery installations, large-scale painting installations, and many others. The simplified procedure applies to installations which are less important in terms of emissions, i.e. smaller installations as generally found in industrial firms. The authorization requirement extends to intended plant components and proces­sing steps. It also extends to ancillara facilities which are linked spatially and operationally to plant components and which may be important in the produc­tion of harmful environmental effects or in giving rise to other risks, major damage or nuisance.

Existing installations for which no formal authorization exists but which require authorization according to the listing of installations in the 4th BImSchV must be reported to the factory inspectorate responsi­ble.

The authorization requirement extend not just to the main installation but to all associated ancillary equipment. For instance, in a painting installation it not only extends to the painting line but also to facilities for cleaning and degrasing, evaporation and drying, reheating and effluent cleaning.

 

9th ordinance (ordinance covering the basic principles of the authori­zation procedure - 9th BImSchV)

This ordinance lays down the rules for filing applications, the type of docu­ments, the involvement of the authorities, the obtaining of expert opinions, discussion procedures, the preliminary notice granting autho­rization (see fig. 12 and 12a).

 

In detail: the authorization procedure is necessary for the building and operati­on of, as well as for major changes in an installation, The application is to be filed in writing with the authorities by the project planner and operator and in particular must contain all details regarding the nature and size of the instal­lation. Included here are

 

-an explanation of the intended process with details of all technical data

 

-details about the type and quantity of material being used, the by-products as well as resulting residues

 

-details about possible secondary reactions and by-products in the case of malfunctions in the process

 

-details about the nature and extent of emissions, their spatial and temporal distribution as well as details of the circumstances of the escape

 

-details of measures intended for protection from harmful environmen­tal effects, for reducing and measuring emissions and immissions for disposal of residues and waste materials and finally for industri­al safety.

 

In many cases of such applications TÜV Rheinland is engaged in

a)         helping the applicants when preparing the formal applications and

b)preparing expertises with respect to environmental matters as emissi­on and environmental load forecasts. This concerns as well air pollution as noise abatement matters as soil and water pollution matters.

 

These expertises are either requested from the applicants or from the authori­ties.

 

The licensing authority checks the application documents, their comple­teness and, where necessary, arranges for their completeness and, where necessary, arranges for their publication and availability for inspecti­on by means of an announcement in the official notification paper and local newspapers.

The announcement must include the first and last day of the public inspection period; there should be a week between the announcement of the project and the first day of the inspection period. Where documents contain confidential business and operating details, these can be replaced by a general representati­on of the contents. Those authorities also involved in accordance with the BImSchG are to be approached for their opinion at the latest at the time of public announcement. The applicant is to be notified of objections to the project. The licensing authorities can obtain a specialist report or expert opinion if they regard it as necessary for checking the application.

 

The objections placed during the inspection period are to be discussed at a specially arranged meeting. The discussi­on meetings is not public; the represen­tative of the licensing authority is responsible for super­vising this and he also decides who has to take part.

 

Very often TÜV Rheinland experts also take part at these discussion meetings as they have prepared special experti­ses or as they have special experience on the discussed environmental matter. In general the authorities ask for our indepen­dent assistances.

 

The minutes of the discussion meeting are recorded; these are to be passed on to the applicant and, on request, to those who have raised objections in time. The licencing authority has to give an immediate decision once all the relevant requirements for assessing the applicati­on have been determined. Those who have raised objections must also be informed of consent.

 

The procedure for authorization of installation allows for applications for partial authorization and the granting of a preliminary notice in the way shown in the flow chart (fig. 12) A preliminary notice is given with certain reserva­ti­ons and does not authorize the building of parts of the installation.

 

4.2Tasks of the Factory Inspectorates

 

Following the Main Environmental Law (Bundesimmissions­schutzgesetz) and its regulations the Factory Inspectora­tes are obliged

-to discuss with and to consult the applicant for installations even before the official application

-to check the license application in view especially of environmental and working place protection

-to inspect and examine the facilities after they have gone into operation.

 

The discussion and consultation before the official application is highly recom­mended in order to avoid fixing facts before e.g. the site has been checked with respect to its environmental impact acceptability.

 

The license applications are especially checked against environmental regulati­ons as the technical instructions air and noise (TA Luft, TA Lärm).

 

The inspection of the facilities in operation is performed regularly. If require­­ments are not met additional or supplementary requirements are asked for.

 

Further to these plant related tasks of the factory inspectorates they assist those authorities being responsi­ble for town and land use plan­ning. They give advice to these authorities very often for the sake of the technical plant operators in order to avoid later concerns between living and industrial areas.

 

The factory inspectorates are also obliged to pursuit complaints from the public against environmental damages or molestations.

 

4.3Task of the TÜV experts

 

As already mentioned safety and environmental aspects are very complex and ask for high expertise. This will be available with the operators of technical faci­lities but need not be independently available from them. The factory inspec­to­rates on the other side must keep their authority and should not involve them­selves in technical details or aspects.

 

The plant operators - originally the steam boiler and pressure vessel opera­tors - requested more than two hundred years ago independent expert groups somewhat like a union of steam boiler supervisors to ensure their facilities from becoming unsafe. These supervisors assisted the opera­tors in an independent way while checking and controlling their facili­ties.

 

Since more than 30 years these experts e.g. TÜV Rheinland engineers are also busy in assisting supervising  and consulting the plant operators as well as the factory inspectrates in  environmental matters. TÜV experts help the plant operators in preparing their license application, they perform expertises on environmental matters as noise prognoses, air pollution forecasts, soil contami­nation investigations and water conta­mination measurements for license applica­ti­on on behalf of the plant operator or of the licensing authority. TÜV experts take also part when the applications are discussed with the public concerned because they are first independent and second accepted as experts. After the plant has gone into operation the independent experts are engaged in measure­ments of air pollution, noise or water pollution emission measurements in order to control the real emission values against the emission limits.

 

Our experts are also busy in checking the safety analysis established and performed by the plant operators. In case of deviations of operation data from licensed data reinfor­cements of the facilities are necessary. In view of regio­nal aspects of environmental pollution e.g. air polluti­on our experts are involved in establishing clean air plans. That means that extensive investigati­ons with respect to air, water or noise pollution are performed and analyzed in order to find the most relevant sources of emissions where reduction measures yield the highest effects.

 

Another activity of TÜV experts is the checking of continuous emission measuring apparatus and its proof of suitability. These apparatus are installed in all large sources e.g. large furnaces to continuously measure the emission concen­tra­tion. This is one of the main means to guaranty for environmental control.

 

4.4Cooperation between Applicant, Authority and Experts

In the sensitive field between applicants or operators and authorities effective solution to fulfil the requests of safety and environmental protection can be reached only by involving highly qualified and inde­pendent experts.

 

A very good example of successful cooperation between these three partners facility operator, state authorities and independent experts is seen in techni­cal plant to be operated  according to the German trade order (Gewerbeord­nung).

-The plant operator plans, erects and operates the facilities follo­wing the laws, ordinances and technical rules introducing his own experiences.

 

-The authorities check if the plants are erected and operated in accordance with legal requirements. They ask for the judgement of independent and acknowledged experts in order to fulfil their state's obligations.

 

-The independent experts assist the authorities by supplying and performing expertises and examinations.

 

The success of this cooperations can be seen from the fact that large accidents or damages do nearly no more happen. In cases where regulati­ons are not complete this cooperati­on produces practical and acceptable solutions. In the context of the environmental laws and regulations this cooperati­on is not yet foreseen in the same

consequen­ce.

 

In general the plant operator and the authority stand face to face to another where the operator has a very high special expertise in contrast to the authori­ty. A succes­sful cooperation of all three aforementioned groups - operators, authorities and independent experts - can help to solve raising problems.

 

 

5.Conclusion

 

Let me now come to the conclusion. There are a lot of activities in the environ­mental control in Germany in order to reduce environmental emissions and impact. The German large combustion ordinance has its counterpart in the Europe and Community. Product measures as the fixing of maximum lead content in gasoline or maximum sulfur content in fuel are discussed in Germany as well as in the Euro­pean Community. However, in both cases the German objectives and goals are stronger than those of the European Communi­ty.

The Major Accident Hazard Ordinance was revised in Germany as it is in prepara­ti­on in the EC (Seveso Directive). It can be stated that some EC-member states follow this directive, some do start to implement it and some other do not yet follow this directive.

 

Environmental protection is not protection of air or of water or of soil, alone. There are interrelationships and crossmedia dependencies. Like an umbrella over all environmental protection aims the European Community proclaimed in 1985 the Guideline on Environmental Impact Assessment for public and private projects which has been transformed into German law in early 1990.

 

We believe that we will be successful in Germany in reducing environmen­tal emis­sions and safety risks within the next years. But we cannot reach the goal of a better environment  that means lower environmental impact, without equiva­lent attitudes in our neighboring countries.

 

Köln, im März 1990