Agency consults on more standard permits

The Environment Agency published rules for ‘standard permits’ for eight types of waste sites for consultation in August.1, 2

Standard permits are for sites covered by the environmental permitting regime, which came into force in April (ENDS Report 397, p 37 ). This merged the waste management licensing and pollution prevention and control regimes, with the aim of improving efficiency.

Standard permits cover most low and medium risk waste sites - higher risk sites have to apply for bespoke permits. They only contain one condition, which refers to a simple set of rules on what waste a site can accept, how it should operate and handle emissions to air and water.

The Agency consulted on a first set of rules last year, including ones for civic amenity sites, most waste transfer stations and composting sites (ENDS Report 393, p 42 ). The new consultation covers:

  • Pet cemeteries
  • Low-impact Part A installations, including those producing biodiesel
  • Biogas engines at sewage treatment works up to 3MW in size
  • Waste transfer stations for inert and excavation waste, processing up to 250,000 tonnes a year of material
  • Sites storing scrap metal for recovery, up to 1 million tonnes a year
  • The disposal of inert wastes at mines and quarries
The Agency is also consulting on revisions to some existing rules for standard permits. For example, the majority of rules for waste treatment and transfer sites have three size bands. These will now be removed so rules cover all operations handling up to 75,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The Agency’s consultation runs until 14 November.