Guidance on notification of hazwaste producers

Draft interim guidance to premises producing hazardous waste and facing a new requirement to notify the Environment Agency was issued by the Environment Department (DEFRA) in January.1

The document includes information on the definition of hazardous waste and exclusions from the controls in the forthcoming hazardous waste regulations. It is designed to help businesses decide if the waste they produce will be covered.

It also explains the premises notification requirements and the circumstances in which premises may be exempt.

The threshold for the amount of hazardous waste produced by exempt premises such as shops, offices and hospitals has been raised from 50kg to 200kg per year - regardless of the number of consignments.

However, the guidance says that industrial premises producing hazardous waste will have to be notified "irrespective of the amount of hazardous waste they produce". DEFRA originally proposed to exempt all sites producing less than 50kg per year (ENDS Report 353, pp 38-39 ).

The opportunity for companies to notify premises is expected to be available from April 2005, although there will be no notification obligation until the regulations come into force. DEFRA plans to lay regulations before Parliament in March to come into force on 16 July 2005 - the same date that waste acceptance criteria for landfilled hazardous waste take effect.

DEFRA also plans to issue comprehensive guidance on the new regime at least three months before it comes into force. The Agency will issue separate guidance on the procedure for notification.

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