Aurubis AG is expressly committed to its responsibility to protect its neighbors from possible environmental impacts and takes the ambitious targets of the 39th ordinance implementing the German Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchV) very seriously. Within this context, the company is providing information about the published results of the Hamburg environmental authority’s immission measurements in calendar year 2018.
The Hamburg environmental authority measured immissions at a public measuring station in the district of Veddel, in direct proximity to Aurubis AG’s Hamburg plant. The ambient air there is influenced by local industrial activities, as well as effects typical for a large city due to energy production, shipping, and construction work, as well as street, train, and air traffic.
In 2018, for the first time in 12 years, measurements taken at this public measuring station exceeded the target outlined in the 39th ordinance implementing the German Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchV) for arsenic in particulate matter in the ambient air. According to the data now released, the average for the year was about 1.8 ng/m³ over the legally defined target of 6 ng/m³ (1 ng/m³ = 1 billionth of a gram per cubic meter of air). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), continuous exposure to an arsenic level beyond the target value for 70 years increases the statistical probability of developing lung cancer in a group of 100,000 people by one to two additional cases.
As in past years, Aurubis AG’s Hamburg plant adhered to and fell significantly below the limits prescribed for all of the emissions permitted for the operation of its facilities. Furthermore, the relevant Hamburg environmental authority did not establish any deficiencies during its frequent routine inspections of the plant. Aurubis operates its facilities in full compliance with standards and permits and in accordance with the state of the art.
In the past three decades, Aurubis has implemented extensive emission reduction programs in Hamburg, which have been defined in part within the scope of six public-law agreements with the city of Hamburg. “Since 2000, our Hamburg plant alone has invested more than € 220 million in environmental protection projects,” explained Plant Manager Dr. Jens Jacobsen. “Furthermore, we announced another investment program a few months ago to reduce emissions again, especially emissions of particulate matter from copper production, beyond the reductions already achieved.”
External factors in particular should be taken into consideration as possible reasons that the target level was exceeded at this measuring station – for example, the extreme dryness combined with the inversion weather conditions during the past summer.
Dr. Jens Jacobsen said, “We will continue to actively contribute to ensuring that the very ambitious target is also adhered to at the Veddel measuring station, measurably and sustainably, even under unfavorable climate conditions.”