The World Bank

The World Bank

General Environmental Guidelines Industry - Pollution Prevention Guidelines


Courtesy of The World Bank


Pollution Prevention Guidelines to provide technical advice and guidance to staff and consultants involved in pollution-related projects. The guidelines represent state-of-the-art thinking on how to reduce pollution emissions from the production process. In many cases, the guidelines provide numerical targets for reducing pollution, as well as maximum emissions levels that are normally achievable through a combination of cleaner production and end-of-pipe treatment. The guidelines are designed to protect human health; reduce mass loadings to the environment; draw on commercially proven technologies; be cost-effective; follow current regulatory trends; and promote good industrial practices, which offer greater productivity and increased energy efficiency.

Table of Contents

  • Emissions Guidelines
  • Other Environmental Requirements: Ambient Noise
  • Monitoring
  • Recordkeeping and Reporting
  • Key Issues for Environmental Control

The World Bank Group may finance commercial and industrial projects for which no specific environmental guidelines have been written. In such cases, the general environmental guidelines outlined in this chapter can be used, but, depending on the project, the requirements contained here may need to be supplemented by additional requirements.

Projects must comply with World Bank Group policies and guidelines, which emphasize pollution prevention, including the use of cleaner production technologies. The intent of the guidelines is to minimize resource consumption, including energy use, and to eliminate or reduce pollutants at the source. For ease of monitoring, maximum permitted emissions limits are often expressed in concentration terms—for example, milligrams per liter (mg/l) for liquid effluents and, for air emissions, milligrams per normal cubic meter (mg/Nm3), where ”normal” is measured at one atmosphere and 0° Celsius. The focus, however, should continue to be on reducing the mass of pollutants emitted to the environment. Dilution of effluents and air emissions to achieve maximum permitted values is unacceptable.

Occasionally, emissions limits are specified in mass of pollutants per unit of production or some other process parameter. In such cases, the limits include leaks and fugitive emissions. Pollution control systems may be required in order to meet specified emissions limits. These systems must be well maintained and operated and must not be fitted with overflow or bypass devices unless such devices are required for emergencies or for safety purposes.

The following sections contain requirements for air emissions, liquid effluents, hazardous chemicals and wastes, and solid wastes. Sections on ambient noise and monitoring requirements are included. The final section summarizes the key steps that will contribute to minimizing the impact of the project on the environment.

Emissions Guidelines

Emissions levels for the design and operation of each project must be established through the environmental assessment (EA) process on the basis of country legislation and the Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook, as applied to local conditions. The emissions levels selected must be justified in the EA and acceptable to the World Bank Group.

The guidelines given below present emissions levels normally acceptable to the World Bank Group in making decisions regarding provision of World Bank Group assistance. Any deviations from these levels must be described in the World Bank Group project documentation. All of the maximum levels should be achieved for at least 95% of the time that the plant or unit is operating, calculated as a proportion of annual operating hours.

Air Emissions

Most of the air emissions from commercial and general industrial facilities originate with the fuel used for heating purposes or for generating steam for process purposes. Particular emissions that may originate in the process are addressed case by case. Concentrations of contaminants emitted from the stacks of significant sources with an equivalent heat input of more than 10 million British thermal units per hour (Btu/hr), including boilers, furnaces, incinerators, and electrical generating equipment, should not exceed the limits presented in Table 1.

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