Solvent Emissions: Procedure For Conducting Site Inspections And Preparing AIC Reports (Note: Being Revised)

Summary: Compliance with the 2002 solvents emissions regulations must be verified by Independent Accredited Inspection Contractors (AICs). This document details the scope of the inspections and what affected businesses must do to comply with the regulations.

Published: 2005


Pages: 63

Filesize: 184KB

Format: pdf

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Executive Summary

Organic solvents are used in many industrial processes and, owing to their volatility, they are emitted either directly or indirectly into the air. Such solvents can also inadvertently be released to sewers/waters or onto ground.

Many organic compounds are directly harmful to human health and/or to the environment.   They can also lead to chemical reactions resulting in the formation of tropospheric (low-level) ozone, an air pollutant. Elevated concentrations of ozone in air can impair human health (particularly vulnerable people such as children, the elderly and those with chronic respiratory disease) and can damage some building materials, forests, vegetation and crops.

Ozone is also a greenhouse gas. Pollution by tropospheric (or low-level) ozone is a widespread and chronic problem within the European Community.

Data submitted by the Member States to the European Commission indicate that during the summer months the threshold level for the protection of human health is exceeded in all the Member States, and that in urban environments in excess of 40 million people are estimated to be exposed to potentially harmful concentrations of this aggressive pollutant.

A European Directive on solvent emissions has been issued to address these harmful effects on human health and the environment. The Directive has been brought into effect in Ireland through Regulations published in November 2002. There are many different types of businesses that will be affected by the implementation of the Regulations, from dry cleaners to pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) licensing system operated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will implement the solvent emissions Directive for the larger companies that are scheduled activities under the current legislation.

However the solvent emissions Directive also covers certain non-IPPC sectors (for example pharmaceutical formulation) as well as companies which operate below the thresholds specified for IPPC (for example, use of coating materials below 10 tonnes per annum). The 2002 Regulations set out the requirements for non-IPPC installations which include registration with their local authority and annually obtaining a certificate of compliance.

Obtaining the certificate of compliance involves annual submission to the local authority of a report by an Accredited Inspection Contractor. An Accredited Inspection Contractor (AIC) in turn requires approval from the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB).

Along with Best Practice Guidelines being developed by the EPA for a number of affected sectors, this Protocol provides guidance to both AICs and operators on the practical operational requirements for compliance with the Regulations and the European Directive on solvents.

This protocol sets out the procedure that is recommended for use by Accredited Inspection Contractors in conducting site inspections and preparing AIC reports, as well as a template for the format and content of the AIC report itself.

The actual 2002 Regulations are included in Appendix 1 to the procedure. Appendix 2 to the procedure shows the activities covered by the Solvents Directive and the corresponding appropriate regulatory system (IPPC licence or AIC system).