The Uncertainty of the Environmental Best Available Technology Approach
"Globes" Israel's Business Newspaper
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror, Adv.
New licensing regulations from the Ministry for the Environment determine the concentration of salt in sewage. The responsible official at the Ministry of the Environment can permit higher a concentration of the salt if the plant uses Best Available Technology ("BAT"), defined as the best available technology that is "economically achievable" using "operational and technological actions." Because there are no clear definitions of BAT, "economically achievable," and "operational and technological actions," plant managers are forced to interpret these terms in fairly arbitrary ways. For example, by the time most technologies are implemented, they are no longer the best available; are they nonetheless permissible under the new regulation? And are they the "best available" in Israel, or internationally? The article recommends maintaining a budget for uncertainty in technological change, in order to maintain BAT under the new regulation.