Our best practice cases provide you with a selection of our projects. The examples show the topics that we handle and the results that we enable our customers to achieve.
Support, by an expert in accordance with Section 29b of the BImSchG, for the client and the planning office in the building design, building monitoring and location of a chemicals storage facility. The aim is to ensure compliance with safety regulations and technical rules.
Result for our customer
Examination of the network security of energy sources and auxiliary media at two sites in an industrial park, for the following reasons:
The following supply networks for energy sources and auxiliary media were examined:
Result for our customer
Technical plants in many industries, such as paper and food manufacture, energy production or surface treatment, are subject to a license requirement under immission control legislation. In this case, licensing applications must be made in the event of new construction or modification of these plants. A plethora of concepts (licences, permits, etc.) are required for this in some cases.
The applicant's interest in retaining the existing licence of the remaining machinery park is pitted here against the licensing authority's interest in issuing orders in respect of the remaining unaltered machinery park.
In addition, tight time planning is frequently crucial to the economic success of projects.
In order to prevent conflicts of objectives between these interests already in advance of the application, our engineers and lawyers support the licensing procedure through precise examination of the licensing requirements, prepare a custom-fit licensing application and corresponding expert appraisals (e.g. dust and noise forecasts) in order, for example, to clarify the scope of the plant amicably in advance with the competent authority. This enables the authorities to examine and decide on the application documents swiftly and without delay.
The two examples below will give you an impression of the services we provide when looking after relevant building projects.
Example 1: New construction of a plant
Example 2: Modification of an existing plant
The special challenge in respect of comparatively old operating sites consists in the wide variety of very different licences and the compliance with conditions imposed by a plethora of administrative decisions. BfU provides support for the licensing procedure in the following points:
To achieve its aims, a company that proceeds in line with best practice uses innovative and proven systems or processes which also follow a successful model in terms of cost.
One of the main problems of licensing or approval procedures under environmental legislation is frequently that companies find it hard to predict what documents will need to be submitted, what requirements the authority will place in the course of the procedure, what expert appraisals will need to be submitted and how long it will take for the licence to be available. Environmental legislation frequently makes mention only of "orientation values" with regard to the duration of the procedure. They are "orientation values" because the applicant, even in legal terms, has very few possibilities of enforcing these deadlines. An additional factor in the case of public procedures is that public objections and the mood at corresponding public hearings are very difficult to calculate.
The aim is to have a project approved cost-efficiently within the targeted time and to counter possible obstacles effectively.
The experience gained by our team of engineers, natural scientists, experts and lawyers over a period of four decades means that we can offer you comprehensive and tested methods and approaches and create a customer-oriented project plan for licensing management from them.
We would like to introduce a number of our successive methods and approaches to you briefly at this point:
Examination of licensing requirement
We examine in advance whether your project requires a licence, permit or official notification or assessment of fitness for purpose from a wide variety of legal areas (environmental, building, fire protection or occupational safety legislation). This will give you corresponding legal certainty at an early stage.
Examination of licensability / licensing prerequisites
We carry out an advance examination of the licensability of your project, i.e. whether applicable requirements under environmental legislation or even requirements from building planning legislation (land-use plan, development plan, Land Utilisation Ordinance) can be deemed to have been met or whether re-planning or additional plans are required. We also examine "neighbourhood legislation" (noise, air pollutants, odours, Hazardous Incident Ordinance) to determine whether it gives rise to obstacles to licensing. As a result, complications in the ensuing licensing procedure are avoided.
Project outline, coordination with authorities, application conference
To coordinate the licensing procedure and the application documents to be submitted with the licensing authority, we prepare a project outline including a project presentation, with a view to implementing environmental legislation requirements and envisaged application documents (expert appraisals, data sheets, plans etc.).This enables a target-oriented elaboration of the application documents to be included and a certain commitment with regard to conditions and collateral provisions (limit values etc.) that "emerge" subsequently in the licensing decision to be achieved.
Compilation of the application documents
Application documents do not consist, as is often thought, only of forms that need to be filled in and vary slightly on a country-specific basis. It is more effective to draft an application text, which avails itself of publicly accessible forms to the extent necessary to present data in summary form. A coherent and understandable application text ensures that any doubts or uncertainties that the licensing authority may have with regard to the project evolve into whether a licence/approval should be granted.
Application documents and expert appraisals from "a single source"
Expert appraisals regarding noise, air pollutants (dispersion calculations), documents in respect of environmental compatibility, FFH compatibility, intervention/compensation regulations, species protection, or statements on fire protection etc. also frequently need to be enclosed with a licensing application. This requires the involvement of numerous specialists and assessors and a coordination overhead. We have an "assembly" of all these specialists and assessors, enabling you to receive the necessary services "from a single source". We carry out the necessary coordination activities, thereby avoiding frictional losses.
Advance coordination of building applications and fire protection
Virtually all other official licences and approvals are concentrated in the licensing procedure under immission control legislation, i.e. the BImSchG authority forwards the jointly submitted building application to the building authority. In order to avoid "queries" here, we assist our customers, in particular, in coordinating building application and fire protection documents in advance with the building authority involved.
Provisional decision, application for early start, partial licence or application for immediate execution pursuant to section 80 of the Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung (Code of Administrative Court Procedure - VwGO)
In the context of licence management, we continually examine whether it might make sense to apply initially for a provisional decision pursuant to section 9 of the BImSchG, a partial licence pursuant to section 8 of the BImSchG or an early start pursuant to section 8a of the BImSchG. This ensures that a start can already be made on constructing the installation or the structure even though the actual operating licence has not been granted. In any ensuing court proceedings, our partner, Kanzlei Dr. Poppe - Rechtsanwälte, can apply for immediate execution pursuant to section 80 of the VwGO, to prevent any major halt to the project. These methods frequently result in a gain in time with regard to project implementation, but also force applicants to weigh up the risks (if final licensability is not sufficiently ensured).
In a public procedure, we provide support for our customers by means of information events. Political interests must be identified. In any public hearing, expert answers and discussion management oriented towards the needs of the objectors are required. This enables aversions and fears to be prevented or countered and also ensures that the licensing procedure is not drawn out unnecessarily.
Procedures under nature conservation legislation
Particularly concerns from the point of view of nature conservation legislation (in respect of environmental impact, FFH impact or species protection) can also block or delay a licensing procedure. It is therefore important to examine, and provide an exact assessment of, possible conflicts with protection objectives to enable a structured dialogue with the authorities or nature conservation associations. The frequent result here is that the project is deemed not to impact the actual protection objectives of nature conservation areas or to impact them only in a manner that is so irrelevant that licensability cannot be gainsaid.
Examination of the licensing decision / objection
In the hearing procedure, we examine the draft licensing decision, thereby preventing subsequent problems in the implementation of conditions and collateral provisions. To the extent permitted on a country-specific basis, we object on behalf of our customers and provide assistance with the implementation of company interests.
If a legal action is brought in a final step, the lawyers of our partner, Kanzlei Dr. Poppe - Rechtsanwälte, will support you expertly in court proceedings.
To achieve its aims, a company that proceeds in line with best practice deploys innovative and proven systems or processes which also follow a successful model in terms of cost.
Operators of installations subject to licensing under the Federal Immission Control Act must always operate their installations in line with the state of the art (cf. section 5) to ensure legally compliant operation. In-house conditions management, the evaluation of new legal sources, including publication of BAT reference documents and BAT conclusions, is becoming increasingly important, not least because of official environmental inspections and the publication of inspection reports.
The concept of "best practice", coined from economic theory, is thus very similar to the technical concept of "state of the art" or the comparable European concept of best available techniques - BAT). In terms of environmental protection, "best" regularly means that an overall high level of protection is to be achieved for the environment through specific precautionary requirements (e.g. through emission limit values). "Available" means that the techniques/operating modes have been developed on a scale that enables application in the relevant industrial sector, taking the cost/benefit ratio into account.
This principle of proportionality regularly calls on the operator of environmentally relevant installations or installations subject to licensing to examine alternatives such as the choice of process technology, input materials or the type of waste water and exhaust air treatment.
The aim is to render production efficient and cost-effective even when taking environmental legislation criteria into account. At the same time, a legally compliant operation is to be ensured. This is the only way to lead your company to the aimed-for success using "best practice".
BfU AG has developed best practice solutions with numerous customers from different industries to meet immission control requirements, which have been given strong impetus through the IE Directive and BAT reference documents/ conclusions. We would like to introduce a number of best practice methods and approaches briefly to you here:
The raw materials industry, particularly the quarrying and earthworks sector, makes an important contribution to the economic significance of Germany as an industrial location. Through exploration, extraction and processing, it enables a close-to-site supply of industry, trade and local authorities. Up to the point at which saleable products are made available, the manufacturing companies need to cope with diverse issues and tasks which relate, in particular, to planning and licensing legislation. Following deposit exploration, spatial planning law-related procedures for designating the deposits must be carried out, followed by procedures under mining, immission control, water, building or nature conservation legislation until such time as the deposit and the downstream processing plants guarantee the supply of raw materials.
The technical issues relating to noise, air quality and smell due to the activities for extracting the raw materials and their impact on the environment should be answered in the special licensing procedure and in any environmental impact assessment that may be required.
EU legislation means that the raw materials industry has also recently had to deal with issues of nature conservation, e.g. through the designation of FFH areas and bird sanctuaries. In some cases, complex issues relating to species protection need to be resolved in connection with the deposits.
This has resulted in application processing under licensing law being transformed, over the past few years, into complex licensing management, in which issues relating to waste, soil protection and occupational safety legislation need to be dealt with.
Since 1976, we have offered our customers assistance and advice ranging from the filing of applications to strategy consultancy.
We provide support to our customers here in all issues ranging from deposit exploration to spatial planning designation through to operating licences.
This relates, in particular, to preparing and conducting:
The interdisciplinary orientation of our team of employees, consisting of natural scientists, engineers and lawyers, ensures that our customers are offered comprehensive advice. We see ourselves as a partner of the raw materials industry and as its lobbyist and interest mediator. The aim is always to provide comprehensive project support so as to achieve a legally compliant solution that the operator also considers viable and reasonably priced.
A host of European and German regulations, such as the REACH Regulation, the RoHS Directive, the Eco-Design Directive, the Energiebetriebene-Produkte-Gesetz (Energy-Using Products Act) etc., require producers to ensure, in addition to product and user safety, that no banned substances are used in their products and substance restrictions are observed. It is becoming more and more frequent for customers to require suppliers and upstream producers to make declarations to the effect that their products are free of harmful substances or comply with the currently allowable limit values and are energy-efficient.
In the past, it was sufficient to provide general answers to customer enquiries regarding harmful substance content and substance requirements. Nowadays, the market demands a detailed analysis of these enquiries, and even reference to environmental certification (Eco Audit/ISO 14001, etc.) is no longer considered sufficient by industry and commerce, as they face the threat of being held liable for issuing hazardous substance/ product guarantees. Producers must therefore answer such enquiries conscientiously, and purchasing and sales must constantly adapt to the new requirements of such regulations in order not to lose customers or market share.
BfU supports the client in formulating a product compliance management system that enables him to ensure that his products comply with environmental protection and occupational health and safety regulations as well as requirements under product legislation at both European and German levels. The above-mentioned regulations constitute a part of the producers' need for action regarding the issuance of declarations in respect of substance requirements and the energy/product safety relevance of their products. These and, if applicable, other regulations through to relevant DIN standards are identified together with the client and form the basis of an examination of product components in terms of the declarations of the absence of harmful substances to be issued to third parties.
The objective is to support the customer in his endeavours to establish an in-house set of tools that can be presented to his customers and suppliers and any monitoring organizations to satisfy the above-mentioned German and European or global substance and product safety requirements.
Result for our customers
Fires and explosions constitute a considerable risk to a company. In spite of strict fire protection regulations and a plethora of laws and ordinances in respect of fire and explosion protection, several thousand accidents due to fires or explosions occur in Germany every year.
For reasons of company risk management, both the risks of fire and the consequences for man and environment following a fire must be kept as small as possible so as to prevent production losses and not to put the company's reputation at risk.
For effective in-house implementation of the requirements of fire protection, BfU develops risk-oriented operating standards. The aim is to define appropriate uniform company specifications in respect of structural, organizational and preventive fire protection. Only through uniform operating standards can in-house fire protection be specifically monitored and improved in companies with several sites.
The operating standards are developed from the point of view of compliance, fire risks and the consequences for man and environment.
1. Identification of requirements
Requirements on fire protection arise, in particular, from the licensing situation, the regulations of property insurers (e.g. in accordance with VdS or FM Global guidelines) and statutory provisions. Only with knowledge of these requirements can appropriate in-house fire protection measures be effectively implemented.
Further requirements, e.g. due to the storage of hazardous substances or the processing of combustible substances, are identified by means of on-site fire risk analyses.
2. Implementation of the technical and organizational fire protection measures
The necessary technical and organizational fire protection measures are defined in accordance with the identified requirements. For this, BfU provides support at all levels of in-house fire protection:
The inspection of the implementation of developed operating standards (e.g. uniform specifications for plant-related storage of hazardous substances or processing of combustible substances) is monitored by specialists at BfU in the context of regular audits.
Conditions and collateral provisions in licensing decisions, permits or orders give rise to obligations for companies, which must be given at least as much consideration as requirements arising from national environmental legislation. Particularly operators of installations subject to licensing with a long operating history face the challenge of analysing the entire licence history and identifying relevant obligations from it.
Numerous decisions and associated documents may be accumulated over a period of decades. It is almost impossible to keep on top of all these without a suitable system. New decisions may replace old provisions wholly or partly, which means that a constant alignment needs to be carried out. At the same time, existing duties need to be delegated and tracked.
The corporate aim here is to have a systematic command of conditions and collateral provisions arising from licences, permits or official orders, to define and monitor responsibilities and thereby facilitate a legally compliant plant operation.
CertLex offers intelligent and convenient support here. In addition to the law module, the individual legal register for the ongoing monitoring of changes to legislation, the licensing module enables you to structure and track all official documents.
Our experts can also assist you in this matter, providing the following services:
This will enable you to keep track of all your obligations and provide evidence of legally compliant implementation to the authority at any time!
Further information is available at www.certlex.de.
Energy costs frequently make up a large part of a company's expenses. These expenses, however, are not fixed costs, as is frequently calculated. Energy costs can be significantly reduced, for example, through the use of state-of-the-art installations, efficient consumer behaviour, energy management and corresponding support options.
An example is a company that requires large and constant quantities of steam for its production. Many companies currently generate the required quantities of steam by using several gas boilers, while sourcing their electricity requirements from the electricity grid.
A company that operates according to "best practice" in order to lower its energy costs would be better served by technical optimisation of the energy supply. The use of a backpressure steam turbine provides one possibility here. A part of the steam generated in the boilers is channelled via this turbine. The turbine is linked to a generator, thereby enabling electrical energy to be generated. The steam is withdrawn in the overpressure range and is overheated, which means that the steam continues to be available as process steam. As a result of the electricity generation, electricity requirements can be covered, depending on size, and excess electricity fed into the electricity grid.
A payment under the KWKG is possible for this electricity that is fed into the grid, which means that electricity costs fall due to in-house generation as opposed to external purchase. It is also possible to achieve tax relief as fuels used in combined heat and power plants receive preferential tax treatment.
This optimisation means that the company's own, sustainable energy supply is secure and it achieves additional earnings as an energy supplier, as well as availing itself of statutory payments and tax relief.