Incinerators breach IPC emission limits

Almost 500 breaches of emission limits have been reported to the Environment Agency by incinerator operators in England and Wales since 1 January 1996, according to a parliamentary answer by junior Environment Minister Alan Meale. 1

The 499 breaches (see table below) were reported by operators regulated under integrated pollution control. Companies are required by their IPC authorisations to notify the Agency of breaches of release limits, but the figures can safely be treated as minima.

370 - Hydrogen chloride

47 - Particulates

33 - Nitrogen oxides

27 - Carbon monoxide

9 - Sulphur dioxide

7 - Metals

4 - Hydrogen fluoride

2 - Iodine

The exact number of incineration processes regulated under IPC is not known, but is probably six or seven dozen. Only one or two prosecutions have been taken for breaches of emission limits since incinerators came under IPC at the end of 1992.

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