Commonly defined as “the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing the basis for emission limit values and other permit conditions designated to prevent, and where that is not practicable, to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole”, BAT approach has been adopted by an increasing number of countries around the world as part of the legal framework to prevent and control industrial pollution. In Vietnam, although a handful of enterprises in textile and footwear industries have already voluntarily applied BATs since the late 1990s, the concept BAT was not introduced in the legal system until the issuance of the Law on Environmental Protection (LEP) 2020. The LEP 2020 not only mentions BAT in several articles, but also has an article specifically concerned with the application of BAT in Vietnam (Article 105).
Following the issuance of the LEP 2020, a Decree detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the LEP 2020 (hereinafter referred to as the draft Decree) has been drafted by the MoNRE. Since beginning of 2021, DLA-MoNRE and HSF have been working closely with a group of experienced national experts to provide regulatory input on the draft Decree with a particular focus on regulations related to Article 105 of the LEP 2020. Given that the EU’s experience of applying BAT represents a useful reference when giving comments on and recommendations for the draft Decree, HSF has invited senior experts of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) to join a virtual technical meeting with Vietnamese experts on 16th August.
During the meeting, UBA’s senior experts made thorough presentations on the BAT approach, and the determination of BAT and BAT-AEL (Associated Emission Levels) in the EU’s and Germany’s regulatory framework. Furthermore, they also explained in detail Germany’s and the EU’s experience of applying BATs in the three pilot industries on which DLA-MoNRE and HSF Vietnam have been focusing on, namely textile, chemical and steel industries. In addition, the virtual meeting also gave German and Vietnamese experts an opportunity to exchange knowledge and technical documents on BAT, as well as to broaden their professional networks, which will significantly support the Vietnamese expert group in providing input on the draft Decree. The input will be considered carefully during the finalisation of the draft Decree by the MoNRE before it is submitted to the Government of Vietnam for approval by the end of September 2021.