Pollution caused by industrial emissions is set to be reduced and environmental performance improved under a new framework of regulation that will better protect our air, water and land.

The UK’s new Best Available Techniques framework will enable regulators and industry to work together to identify and apply up to date, challenging standards when it comes to reducing harmful emissions.

Under the permits granted by environmental regulators to industrial facilities – such as textile and chemical industries – businesses must use the best techniques available to them to prevent or minimise emissions and their impacts on the environment.

The new framework will see the UK government and Devolved Administrations (the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and DAERA) working with industry and local councils to identify these methods – known as ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) – from across the UK’s largest industries. This process includes agreeing and setting emissions limits within environmental permits and determining the types of technologies and methods operators should use to reduce their environmental impact.

Building on existing levels of environmental protection, it aims to develop higher standards for industrial emissions, as the UK moves away from the EU’s regulatory framework towards one that better caters to UK businesses and the wellbeing of local communities. The collaborative approach will also give industry greater certainty to support investment that will drive forward innovation in cleaner technologies.

A new governance structure will also be established, with new independent bodies – called the Standards Council and the Regulators Group – consisting of government officials and expert regulators from all four nations of the UK. A UK Air Quality Governance Group will also be established to oversee the work of the Standards Council and the delivery of the requirements under this new framework. Interested parties from industry, academia and civil society will be able to engage in the running of the BAT system through an advisory group being set up by the UK BAT Team.