Best Available Techniques (BAT) reference documents (BREFs)

BREFs and the BAT conclusions they contain form the basis for permitting PPC Part A activities.

A BREF – a Best Available Technique (BAT) Reference Document – is a publication resulting from a series of exchanges of information between a variety of stakeholders, including regulators, industry and environmental non-governmental organisations.

What are BREFs for?

BREFs bring together users’ real-world experiences of BAT to provide reference information for regulators to use when determining permit conditions.

The documents describe, in particular, applied techniques, present emissions and consumption levels, techniques considered for the determination of best available techniques as well as BAT conclusions and any emerging techniques.

How are BREFs produced?

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)’s Article 13 requires the European Commission to organise ‘an exchange of information between Member States, the industries concerned and environmental non-governmental organisations on best available techniques, associated monitoring and developments’ and to publish the results. Information on UK lead contacts for BREF technical working groups can be found within this table.

What are BAT conclusions?

BAT conclusions are the final evaluations of Best Available Techniques and form part of every BREF. They determine the reference points used to set permit conditions for installations covered by the IED.

BAT conclusions include:

  • a description of each conclusion;
  • an assessment of its appropriate application;
  • emission levels associated with the best available techniques;
  • associated monitoring;
  • associated consumption levels;
  • relevant site remediation measures, where appropriate.

When do I need to comply with the BAT conclusions?

Where BAT conclusions are available for any new installations, those installations must achieve the required standard before the start of operations.

For existing installations, it is our responsibility to ensure that all permit conditions for the installation are reconsidered (and, where necessary, updated) in line with the relevant BAT conclusion within four years of its publication.

In the absence of BAT conclusions, installations should continue ensure that they meet the highest standards of environmental control, based on BATs and associated BREFs.

Access the BREFs

To access the most up-to-date version available, please visit the European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau , where you can download the latest documents.

Contact us

For more information on any aspect of BREFs or BAT conclusions, please contact us.