Federal Immission Control Act tightened: Biogas plants subject to new approval requirements
Hamburg: Since 1 June 2012, biogas plants have been subject to approval in accordance with the German Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG). Whilst previously a simplified approval process according to building planning laws was sufficient, new rules now apply to plants above a certain production capacity. “Although the approval procedure according to the Immission Control Act is generally more comprehensive, it offers the operator greater proof of legal compliance. It also means that additional payments may be available”, explains Sinika Schrey from TÜV NORD.
Specifically, the new approval procedure applies to plants with a production capacity of 1.2 standard cubic metres of raw gas per year, equivalent to an electrical output of 250 kW. Before the new rules came into force, these plants were approved within a simplified building planning procedure. Existing plants, which now are subject to the new rules, may continue to be operated with the simplified planning permission, but must be registered with the approval authority by the end of August.
“Approval according to BImSchG is generally more rigorous, but creates a uniform approval procedure throughout Germany”, explains Sinika Schrey. “In addition, operators of a suitably-designed cogeneration plant can receive a so-called formaldehyde bonus with their payments if they hold BImSchG Approval.”
The new obligations for operators are based on a change in 4. BimSchV, the Ordinance for implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act. This means that in future, the same conditions regarding Immission Controls will apply to biogas plants of the specified capacity as apply to other plants subject to official approval which could impact on the immediate neighbourhood or the general public.
About the TÜV NORD Group
With over 10,000 employees, TÜV NORD Group is one of the largest technical service providers, offering its advisory, service and inspection expertise in over 70 countries throughout the world. Areas of activity include Industry Services, Mobility and Education and Training. TÜV NORD Group occupies a unique position in the sector based on its work in the fields of raw materials and aerospace and is firmly committed to its guiding principle and watchword: “Making our world safer”.
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