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Registration of a user of organic solvents

An operator using organic solvents who does not possess an air pollution permit or have an obligation to possess an integrated environmental permit but exceeds the thresholds stated in chapter 5 of the Industrial Emissions Act (THS) must register its activities at the Environmental Board (THS § 134). Upon registration, the Environmental Board will issue the operator a registration certificate.

The thresholds stated in chapter 5 of the THS are calculated according to the annual usage of the solvents, including solvents, which are components of a mixture, on the manufacturing territory. They are the following:
1. coating with an adhesive – 5 or more tonnes;
2. coating new vehicles – 0.5 - 15 tonnes;
3. refinishing of vehicles – 0.5 or more tonnes;
4. coating with roll material – 25 or more tonnes;
5. coating of metal, plastic, textile, fabric, film, and paper – 5 or more tonnes;
6. coating of wood surfaces – 15 or more tonnes;
7. coating of leather surfaces – 10 or more tonnes;
8. coating of winding wire – 5 or more tonnes;
9. production of coatings, varnish, printing inks and adhesives – 100 or more tonnes;
10. production of footwear – 5 or more tonnes;
11. production of pharmaceutical goods – 50 or more tonnes;
12. heatset web offset printing, other web-fed printing, flexography, rotary screen printing, laminating, or varnishing – 15 or more tonnes;
13. web-fed printing used to print publications – 25 or more tonnes;
14. rotary screen printing for fabrics or paper – 30 or more tonnes;
15. rubber processing – 15 or more tonnes;
16. extraction of vegetable oil or animal fat and refining of vegetable oil –10 or more tonnes;
17. impregnation of wood material – 25 or more tonnes;
18. laminating of wood and plastic material – 5 or more tonnes;
19. factory coating of new vehicles – 15 or more tonnes;
20. surface cleaning in industrial process, using the substances named in § 140 or 141 of the present act – 1 or more tonnes;
21. the cleaning of other surfaces – 2 or more tonnes;
22. dry cleaning – any amount of solvents.

It should be noted that the amount of solvent used is calculated by adding the amounts of solvents contained in chemicals and mixtures being used. For example, if 10 tonnes of finishing agents are being used per year, and their solvent content is 60%, then the annual amount of solvents being used is 10 tonnes x 60% = 6 tonnes.

If only chemical and mixture amounts are added together, without taking solvent content into account, this does not reflect the actual amount of solvents used.

If a company’s activities fall under any of the activities listed above, though the annual emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) is over 0.5 tonnes, it is not necessary to register the activities. In this case, only an air pollution permit is required. If the user of organic solvents did not state the size of annual VOC emissions when activities were registered, the Environmental Board will calculate it on the basis of the obligatory data submitted.

See here for further information about the possession of an air pollution permit.

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