New controls on odour and dust for animal and vegetable processes

Operators of animal and vegetable processes will be required to meet tighter controls on odour and emissions of particulate matter under revised guidance on local air pollution control (LAPC).1

The draft guidance for animal and vegetable processes is the last major tranche in the Environment Department's programme to revise the guidance for sites regulated by local authorities under LAPC. The programme started in 1999 and was meant to take two years - but has fallen badly behind schedule (ENDS Report 344, pp 45-46 ).

DEFRA has now issued revised guidance for the following processes: pet food manufacturing; animal feed compounding; fish meal and fish oil processing; hide and skin processing; production of natural sausage casings; vegetable matter drying; tobacco processing; mushroom substrate and maggot breeding. These guidance notes were last updated in 1996.

A common theme is a marked increase in the level of controls on odour. The guidance on pet food manufacturing for instance, identifies odour as the key potential release, particularly from cooking processes and waste treatment. It provides considerably more information on how operators are expected to control odour.

The pet food guidance retains the principal aim that no offensive odour, as perceived by the regulator, should be detectable at or beyond the site boundary. In addition, it requires operators to meet a new efficiency standard for odour abatement equipment of 1ppm for ammonia, amines and amides, and organic and inorganic sulphides.

Councils should require existing processes to comply with the new standards within three months of the publication of the notes.

Sites which incinerate odorous emissions will have to met a limit on carbon monoxide of 100mg/m3 and use only low-sulphur fuel.

Operators will also be required to continuously monitor odour abatement and to carry out daily inspections. Firms must also test the efficiency of odour abatement equipment annually.

Similar controls on odour will apply to other sectors such as fish meal and fish oil processing and maggot breeding.

Many of the notes also feature tighter controls on particulate matter, reflecting developments in the best available techniques available to operators. In general, the emission limit has been cut from 50 to 20mg/m3. Operators must comply within six months of the publication of the note.

  • Plastics processes: DEFRA has also published a draft of revised guidance for fibre-reinforced plastic manufacturing processes.2 Information from an industry technical working group suggests that the revision has resulted in no significant changes to the guidance.

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