The gas industry has fewer obvious environmental problems to solve than some parts of the chemical industry but all types of business have some effect on the environment through the natural resources it consumes to make and distribute the products it sells.
The environmental agenda, which was previously under TSC6 (HASAG) in BCGA, continues to grow rapidly in workload and complexity, such that in 2009 we decided to inaugurate a distinct new technical sub-committee, TSC8 (Environment) under the Chairmanship of Mr Nigel Anderson of BOC.
For BCGA members, information on the work of TSC8, including the minutes of the latest meetings, can be viewed within the members' area under 'Meetings'.
Members interested in joining TSC8 are entitled to do so and should make contact with the BCGA office.
The Environment Agency (EA) publishes a very useful overview of general Environmental and other regulatory requirements.
Major Environmental topics under TSC8’s view are:-
Climate Change and Carbon Management
Climate Change Levy (CCL)
The UK Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a tax on industrial electricity, gas and oil usage.
BCGA has a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) under the CCL in place since 2005, covering operators of Air Separation Units (ASU’s) in the UK.
CCA's are applicable to industry sectors recognised to be 'Energy Intensive' by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that may, by 'negotiated agreement' gain partial relief from the CCL in return for progressively improving their energy efficiency in accordance with closely defined targets.
CCA’s are extremely complex and further detail can be found about on the DECC website.
Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC)
Business organisations which have significant electricity usage (as judged by having half-hourly metering and an aggregate 6000MW/h PA consumption), are within the scope of the CRC , registration for impacted sites and organisations started in April 2010
For more information on the CRC, click here.
Carbon Footprinting and Carbon Neutrality
An increasingly common practice is to assess and state the carbon consumption of businesses and of individual products. For a general guide to Carbon Footprinting refer to the Department for Environment, Food and Retail Affairs (DEFRA) website.
The European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) has published specific guidance on this for the gases industry. Refer to EIGA IGC Document 167, Methodology to establish a "product carbon footprint".
EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)
From 1 January 2013 hydrogen and carbon monoxide production plants producing >25 tonnes/day of hydrogen production will come under the EU ETS, more information is available from the EIGA website.
Industrial Pollution Control - Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) and Integrated Emissions Directive (IED)
||There are several gas industry processes which are covered by specific environmental permits; these are Hydrogen and carbon monoxide production, acetylene, nitrous oxide or electronics gases production.
Air separation units and air gas filling plants, including mixtures, are not subject to the EPR permitting regime. Air separation units do often operate on sites regulated by the Environment Agency under EPR. The BCGA has worked with the Environment Agency to establish that no separate permit is needed for the gas company operation, provided that certain conditions are met. Refer to BCGA Guidance Note 21, Environmental Guidelines for Air Separation Plant and Equipment on sites regulated under IPPC.
EIGA has produced Technical Bulletin 01/12, Impact of the Industrial Emissions Directive, to provide information to EIGA member companies on the applicability of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) to industrial gases processes and on the changes introduced in the IED.
Gas Cylinders in the Waste Stream
Gas cylinders and other transportable pressure vessels are fully reusable, recyclable and can have a long life time. However gas cylinders do turn up at waste transfer and disposal sites and BCGA has produced guidance to manage the associated risks, refer to BCGA Leaflet 2, The safe handling of gas cylinders at waste facilities.
Additional information on managing the recovery of cylinders from waste sites or the disposal of cylinders can be found on the Cylinder Recovery & Disposal webpage.
Packaging Producer Responsibility Regulations
|BCGA's position is that cylinders are not obligated packaging under the
Packaging Producer Responsibility Regulations, however sale or importation of one trip disposable cylinders, boxes or wooden crates for equipment, drums etc.. could create obligations under these regulations for BCGA members.
More information is available on the BCGA website. Click the image to the right to download Leaflet L2.
Regulations covering waste can be found on the website of the Environment Agency (or the Environment Agencies within your jurisdiction).
Fluorinated Gases (F Gas) and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)
||Supply and use of F gas and ODS are regulated by EU and UK regulations. Advice and guidance on the F Gas regulatory framework can be found on the DEFRA website.
BCGA responds to many Government consultations, many on environmental matters. BCGA members can view current and recent consultations in the members area.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA)
The Environment Agency (EA)
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)