Risk management of chemicals

Best Available Techniques to Prevent and Control Industrial Chemical Pollution


What's new

New report on Best Available Techniques for Preventing and Controlling Industrial Pollution - Activity 2: Approaches to Establishing Best Available Techniques (BAT) Around the World

Best Available Techniques (BAT) have emerged as a key policy tool to prevent and control the emission of industrial pollutants, and thus to ensure the protection of human health and the environment. This report presents the first comprehensive analysis of approaches to establishing BAT and similar concepts around the world, including in OECD members and partners countries as well as under international conventions.

The report demonstrates the key characteristics of more than nine methodologies to establish BAT and similar concepts, providing governments with good practice insights on how to effectively design or review their approach to determining BAT. It also presents a unique, international compilation of existing BAT documents, allowing interested stakeholders to seek guidance from already identified BAT.

The report is also available in Russian: "Наилучшие доступные технологии Предотвращение и контроль промышленного загрязненияЭтап 2:Подходы к определению наилучших доступных технологий (НДТ) в странах мира".


Infographic:  how do countries determine Best Available Techniques and permit conditions for preventing and controlling industrial pollution?


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Introduction to the Best Available Techniques concept

Different policies and practices are being implemented around the world to prevent and control the emission of pollutants in order to ensure a high level of environmental and human health protection. National and international approaches are often based on the use of advanced techniques – Best Available Techniques (BAT). 

The BAT concept has evolved as one of the key elements for setting emission limit values and other permit conditions in preventing and controlling industrial pollution. BAT are the latest stage (state of the art) of processes, facilities or methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular measure for limiting discharges.


Why the OECD works on Best Available Techniques

Countries spend significant resources on implementing, reviewing and updating information on advanced industrial practices and technology for preventing and controlling industrial pollution. Therefore,there is an added value in sharing experience and knowledge, amongst OECD member and partner countries, on how BAT are applied in various parts of the world, how information on the highest achievable environmental performance is gathered, and how such policies and practices are evaluated with respect to their effectiveness and efficiency.

Objective of the programme

The overall objectives of the project are to assist governments to implement policies and practices that embody BAT (or similar concepts) to prevent and control industrial pollution, and to contribute to progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Who is involved

BAT figure

Forthcoming activities for 2019-2021

OECD member and partner countries have given their support for the BAT project to continue for another three years. For the period 2019-21, the project has the following three objectives:

  • Develop guidance on determining BAT, deriving BAT Associated Emission Levels (BAT-AELs) from BAT and translating BAT into Emission Limit Values in environmental permits for industry operators
  • Conduct a study on the challenges and opportunities associated with value chain approaches to establishing BAT for industrial installations
  • Compare BAT and BAT-AELs across countries for selected sectors and/or pollutants

Key programme areas

The current OECD BAT project (running from January 2016 to December 2018) is divided into three activities. 

  • Activity 1: Policies on BAT or Similar Concepts Across the World, 2017
    This report provides an overview of policies and practices embodying BAT (or similar concepts) to prevent and control industrial emissions to air, water and soil in OECD member countries  (the United States, the European Union, Japan and New Zealand) and partner countries (India, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation). For each country, the overview includes information on the type of policy instrument that is used and how it is embedded in the national legislation, the pollutants, sectors and activities to which the policy instrument applies, date of entry into force, timing for implementation, and requirements linked to the use of BAT or a similar concept.

  • Activity 3 sets out to collect and review information on data and methodologies for evaluating the effectiveness of policies and practices embodying BAT or similar concepts in OECD member countries (the United States, the European Union, Korea, New Zealand, Chile and Israel) and partner countries (India, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation). Data for Activity 3 is collected through literature research, questionnaires and interviews with national experts and representatives from industry and research institutes, in addition to representatives of industry association and international organisations. Findings from Activity 3 are reviewed by the Expert Group on BAT and was presented at the group’s third meeting in Paris in October 2018. The activity will result in a final report which will be published by the end of the project period. The findings of Activity 1 to 3, i.e. on designing, establishing and evaluating BAT policies, will be presented in a new BAT scheme in the IOMC Toolbox.  

With the financial assistance of the European Union

EU FLAGThe OECD BAT project has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.


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