Best available technology (BAT) is a technical term used in conjunction with environmental standards and regulations. The specific meaning of BAT depends on context but in general it means that the most effective pollution control (or nonpolluting) technology available at the time must be implemented by sources such as factories or municipal sewage plants that emit pollutants. The concept of BAT dates back to at least the 19th century, when the phrase best practicable means was used in the United Kingdom (U.K.) in the Salmon Fishery Act of 1861, and remains current today in legislation such as the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1963 and the U.S. Clean Water Act of 1972. Using the term BAT rather than specifying a particular technology allows for ...

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