This bio-waste sector is critical to a closed loop, circular economy and is particularly important as it helps support agriculture, reduces the need for inorganic fertilisers, mitigates against decreasing soil quality as well as helping to meet renewable energy targets and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
This review will embed recent changes to legislation, including the requirement of the Industrial Emissions Directive, to ensure compliance with best available techniques and emission limits.
The review will also ensure all bio-waste operations are regulated in a consistent manner and that the objectives of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan are met. It seeks to improve the quality of recovered material and improve the performance of the sector, securing a regulatory framework that is fair and achievable, whilst providing the best possible protection for people and the environment.
A standard rules consultation will be published in the early Autumn and there have been several consultations on the revised standards and proposed changes for bio-waste. These have provided operators with the opportunity to influence and raise concerns which have been taken into account in final proposals.
The review will begin with bespoke Installations permits and with sites presenting the highest risk or poor performance being prioritised.
The EA will shortly formally request information from operators on their process and pollution control measures to assess against new best available techniques. Waste operations permits will undergo a similar process, due to start in the late Autumn 2019.
An Environment Agency spokesperson, said:
“The aim of the review of permitted sites is to ensure the bio-waste sector continues to grow and develop in a sustainable and efficient way, providing benefits to communities and the environment.”
“The review has developed with input from industry representatives from the bio-waste sector, ensuring we are well sighted on opportunities and issues”.