Substitute fuels protocol published

The Environment Agency has given cement manufacturers the go-ahead to increase the use of waste fuels in kilns, under revised guidance published in February.1

The new protocol introduces a streamlined approach for operators seeking a permit to burn waste fuels, in line with the Agency's policy of encouraging the use of kilns for waste management. In particular, the Agency has removed the requirement for waste fuels to have a minimum calorific value, removed the requirement for extended public consultation on operators' applications and removed the exclusion on certain types of waste.

The proposals met with considerable opposition from local campaigners and incinerator operators (ENDS Report 353, pp 18-19 ).

The Agency was due to agree the revised substitute fuels protocol last October, but its plans were delayed due to concern over a lack of clarity over when inspectors would allow extended public consultation and over the potential for "sham recovery" of waste (ENDS Report 357, pp 42-43 ).

The new protocol includes detailed guidance on testing and reporting of fuels, in order to prevent unsuitable waste being reclassified as fuel and disposed of in kilns. The protocol also contains an annex on how inspectors should conduct an extended public consultation.

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