Chapter 9. Limiting emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) due to the use of organic solvents

Regulations relating to pollution control (Pollution Regulations). This is an unofficial translation of the Norwegian regulation.

Laid down pursuant to section 4 of Act no. 79 of 11 June 1976 relating to the control of products and consumer services (the Product Control Act) and section 9 of Act no. 6 of 13 March 1981 concerning protection against pollution and concerning waste (the Pollution Control Act). Cf. EEA agreement Appendix XX no. 21ab (Directive 1999/13/EC).

9-1. Purpose

The purpose of the provisions of this chapter is to prevent or reduce the direct and indirect effects of the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the environment, mainly into air, and the potential risks to human health in connection with the use of organic solvents.

9-2. Scope

The provisions apply to the type of activities listed in Appendix I to this chapter, if the consumption of solvents exceeds the limit values listed in Appendix II A to this chapter.

9-3. Definitions

The following definitions apply in this chapter:

Volatile organic compound (VOC): any organic compound having at 293.15 K a vapour pressure of 0.01 kPa or more, or having a corresponding volatility under the particular conditions of use. In connection with this chapter, the fraction of creosote which exceeds the aforementioned vapour pressure value at 293.15 K shall be considered a volatile organic compound.

Organic compound: any compound that contains at least the element carbon and one or more of the elements hydrogen, halogens, oxygen, sulphur, phosphorus, silicon or nitrogen, except for carbon oxides and inorganic carbonates and bicarbonates.

Organic solvent: any volatile organic compound which is used alone or in combination with other substances, and without undergoing a chemical change, to dissolve raw materials, products or waste materials, or is used as a cleaning agent to dissolve contaminants, or as a dissolver, or as a dispersion medium, or as a viscosity adjuster, or as a surface tension adjuster, or a plasticizer, or as a preservative.

Halogenated organic solvent: an organic solvent which contains at least one atom of bromine, chlorine, fluorine or iodine per molecule.

Installation: a stationary technical unit where one or more activities falling within the scope of this chapter are carried out, and any other directly associated activities which have a technical connection with the activities carried out on that site, and which could have an effect on emissions.

Existing installation: an installation that prior to 15 October 2001 is in operation or holds an emission permit pursuant to the Pollution Control Act or which in the view of the competent authority has submitted a complete emission application, provided that this installation is put into operation by 15 October 2002.

Small installation: an installation which falls within the lower threshold band of solvents in points 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 16 or 17 in Appendix II A to this chapter or, for the other activities mentioned in Appendix II A, which have a solvent consumption of less than 10 tonnes/year.

Substantial change:
- For an installation falling within the scope of the IPPC directive (directive 96/61/EC), the definition specified in that directive.
- For a small installation, a change of the nominal capacity leading to an increase of emissions of volatile organic compounds of more than 25%. Any change that may have, in the opinion of the competent authority, significant negative effects on human health or the environment is also a substantial change.
- For all other installations, a change of the nominal capacity leading to an increase of emissions of volatile organic compounds of more than 10%. Any change that may have, in the opinion of the competent authority, significant negative effects on human health or the environment is also a substantial change.
Operator: any natural or legal person who operates or owns the installation or, where this is provided for in national legislation, to whom decisive economic power over the technical functioning of the installation has been delegated.

Fugitive emissions: any emissions not in waste gases of volatile organic compounds into air, soil and water as well as, unless otherwise stated in Appendix II A to this chapter, solvents contained in any products. They include uncaptured emissions released to the outer environment through windows, doors, vents and similar openings.

Waste gases: final gaseous discharge containing volatile organic compounds or other pollutants, from a stack or abatement equipment into air. The volumetric flow rates shall be expressed in m3/hour as standard conditions.

Total emissions: the sum of fugitive emissions and emissions in waste gases.

Emission limit value: the mass of volatile organic compounds, expressed in terms of specific parameters, concentration, percentage and/or level of an emission, calculated at standard conditions (N), which may not be exceeded during one or more periods of time.

Substances: any chemical element and its compounds, as they occur in the natural state or as produced by industry, whether in solid or liquid or gaseous form.

Preparation: mixtures or solutions composed of two or more substances.

Coating: any preparation, including all the organic solvents or preparations containing organic solvents necessary for application, which is used to provide a decorative, protective or other functional effect on a surface.

Adhesive: any preparation, including all the organic solvents or preparations containing organic solvents necessary for application, which is used to adhere separate parts of a product.

Ink: a preparation, including all the organic solvents or preparations containing organic solvents necessary for application, which is used in a printing activity to impress text or images on to a surface.

Consumption: the total input of organic solvents into an installation per calendar year, or any other 12-month period, less any volatile organic compounds recovered for reuse.

Input: the quantity of organic solvents and their quantity in preparations used when carrying out an activity, including the solvents recycled inside and outside the installation, and which are counted every time they are used to carry out the activity.

Reuse of organic solvents: the use of organic solvents recovered from an installation for any technical or commercial purpose and including use as a fuel but excluding the final disposal of such recovered organic solvent as waste.

Mass flow: the quantity of volatile organic compounds released, in unit of mass/hour.
Nominal capacity: the maximum mass input of organic solvents by an installation averaged over one day, if the installation is operated under conditions of normal operation at its design output.

Normal operations: all periods of operation of an installation or activity, except start-up and shut-down operations and maintenance of equipment.

Contained conditions: conditions under which an installation is operated such that the volatile organic compounds released from the activity are collected and discharged in a controlled way either via a stack or abatement equipment and are therefore not entirely fugitive.

Standard conditions: a temperature of 273.15 k and a pressure of 101.3 kpa.
Average over 24 hours: the arithmetic average of all valid readings taken during the 24-hour period of normal operation.

Start-up and shut-down operations: operations whilst bringing an activity, a piece of equipment or a tank into or out of service or out of an idling state. Regularly oscillating activity phases are not to be considered as start-ups and shut-downs.

Competent authority: The Environment Agency or the agency authorized by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

9-4. Registration

Installations that are covered by the provisions in this chapter shall be registered with the competent authority. The installation shall be registered by completing and submitting a standardized report form which can be obtained from the competent authority. Registration shall take place within the deadlines set in section 9-16.

Any substantial change shall also be reported to the competent authority.

9-5. Requirements concerning emissions

All installations shall comply with

  • the emission limit values in waste gases and the fugitive emission values, or the total emission limit values, and other requirements in Appendix II A to this chapter; or
  • the requirements of the reduction scheme in Appendix II B to this chapter, cf. the last subsection of section 9-16.

Installations that use solvents that have a serious health and environmental impact as mentioned in section 9-7 shall comply with the requirements in this provision.

For activities that do not follow the reduction scheme in Appendix II B to this chapter, all emission reduction equipment that is put into use after this chapter enters into force shall comply with the requirements in Appendix II A to this chapter.

All appropriate measures shall be implemented to minimize emissions during start-up and shut-down.

If an existing installation is subject to a substantial change, or is covered by the provisions in this chapter for the first time following a substantial change, the part of the installation that is subject to the substantial change shall be considered a new installation. However, it can be considered an existing installation if other measures are implemented that entail that the total emissions from the entire installation do not exceed that which would have been the result if the section that has been changed significantly had had to comply with the requirements on new installations.

9-6. Exceptions

The competent authority can make exceptions to the limit value set for fugitive emissions from individual installations if it finds proof that it is not technically or financially possible to comply with this value, and no substantial risk can be expected to human health or the environment. For each exception the operator must provide satisfactory proof to the competent authority that the best technology available has been used.

Activities that cannot be performed during contained conditions can be exempted from the requirements in Appendix II A to this chapter if this option is mentioned expressly for the type of activity in question in this Appendix. The reduction scheme in Appendix II B to this chapter shall then be used, unless the competent authority finds proof that it is not technically and financially viable. In this event, the operator must prove to the competent authority that the best available techniques will be used.

9-7. Special requirements concerning emissions of solvents constituting serious health and environmental hazards

Solvents that are classified as carcinogens, mutagens or toxic to reproduction and which shall therefore be labelled with the risk phrases R45, R46, R49, R60 and R61 pursuant to the Regulation concerning the Declaration and Labelling of Microbiological Products shall be replaced with less harmful alternatives as soon as possible.

For discharges of a total greater than, or equal to, 10 g/h of these compounds, an emission limit value of 2 mg/Nm3 shall be complied with. The emission limit value refers to the mass sum of the individual compounds.

For discharges of halogenated compounds assigned the risk phrase R40 that are greater than, or equal to, 100 g/h, an emission limit value of 20 mg/Nm3 shall be complied with for waste gases. The value refers to the mass sum of the individual compounds.

To protect health and the environment, the emission of all compounds mentioned above shall be limited, to the extent technically and financially possible, as emissions from an installation that operates under contained conditions.

The requirements in this provision also cover elements whose labelling duty comes into force after 1 October 2001.

The reduction scheme in Appendix II B to this chapter does not release an activity from complying with the above-mentioned requirements.

9-8. Permits

The competent authority can demand that a permit be applied for, pursuant to the rules in the Pollution Control Act. When determining whether to grant the permit, and which requirements to make, consideration must be taken of the current requirements on the use of organic elements and the guidelines on the use of elements and technology that has the least possible effect on the environment and health.

If an existing installation holds an emission permit, this chapter's requirements shall apply if they are stricter than the requirements in the permit or if the solvent emission is not regulated in the emission permit.

9-9. Installations with several activities

At installations where there are two or more activities that separately exceed the thresholds in Appendix II A to this chapter,

  • each of the activities shall comply with the requirements in section 9-5, or
  • the total emissions shall not exceed that which would have been the result if point 1 had been complied with.

For the elements mentioned in section 9-7, the requirements in that section shall apply to each activity.

9-10. Measurements

If treated emissions are higher than an average 10 kg C per hour at any emission point, these emissions shall be measured constantly.

In other cases, emission measurements shall be carried out during representative operation once a year at all installations where abatement equipment is necessary in order to comply with the requirements. At least three readings shall be carried on each occasion (hourly average). On application, the competent authority can set a greater interval between the measurements. The competent authority can also order more frequent measurements, if this is found necessary.

A new emission measurement shall be conducted after a substantial change, cf. section 9-3, point 5.

9-11. Compliance with limit values and reporting

Every year the operators shall report the emissions during the previous year to the competent authority by 1 March. The report shall document compliance with the following:

- emission limit values in waste gases, fugitive emission values and total emission limit values, or
- the requirements of the reduction scheme under Appendix II B to this chapter.

Appendix III to this chapter on solvent management plans provides instructions on how to document compliance with these parameters.

Any gas that has been added to cool/dilute the waste gas shall not be considered when determining the mass concentration of the pollutant in the waste gas.

In the case of periodic measurements, the emission limit values shall be considered to be complied with if the average of all the readings does not exceed the emission limit values, and none of the hourly averages exceeds the emission limit value by more than a factor of 1.5. In the case of continuous measurements, the emission limit values shall be considered to be complied with if none of the averages over 24 hours of normal operation exceeds the emission limit values, and none of the hourly averages exceeds the emission limit values by more than a factor of 1.5.

If the installation ascertains that the emission requirements in sections 9-5 through 9-7 have not been complied with, the operator shall notify the competent authority as soon as possible, and implement the measures necessary to ensure that the requirements are complied with again as soon as possible.

9-12. Transitional provisions

For new installations, the requirements shall apply starting 15 October 2001. On application, the competent authority can set transitional arrangements for installations that shall be completed within 1 year following 15 October 2001.

For existing installations, the requirements shall be complied with no later than 31 October 2007, and the registration report shall be submitted by 31 October 2006.

Existing installations which operate existing abatement equipment and comply with the following waste gases limit values:

- 50 mg C/Nm3 in the case of incineration,
- 150 mg C/Nm3 in the case of any other abatement equipment,

shall be exempt from the waste gases emission limit values in Appendix II A to this chapter until 1 April 2013 provided that the total emissions of the whole installation do not exceed those that would have resulted had all the requirements in Appendix II A been met. This does not apply to elements with special regulations in section 9-7.

If instead of complying with the requirements in Appendix II A to this chapter the operator wishes to reduce the emissions based on the reduction scheme in Appendix II B to this chapter, a report shall be submitted to the competent authority by 30 April 2002 for new installations, and for existing installations by 30 April 2005.