A large number of waste companies will require more expensive permits and will be regulated to ‘more exacting standards’ under new rules coming into effect over the next year.
Around 2,500 waste operators are likely to be affected by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), new Environment Agency (EA) calculations have revealed.
The IED specifies a range of industrial processes and activities that need to be regulated as ‘installations’. Some activities listed in the Directive have not previously required an installation permit.
The EA screened the waste industry to see which operators would be affected. They found that:
- 767 sites are caught by the new IED requirements
- A further 1,689 sites could “possibly” be affected
- This means around 9,000 existing waste operators are not caught by the IED
Many of the activities that are now affected, such as composting and metal shredding, have been regulated up until now under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 as ‘waste operations’.
The EA said: “The difference between an ‘installation’ permit and a ‘waste operation’ permit is that an ‘installation’ permit prescribes more exacting environmental standards and is subject to higher charges due to the potentially greater environmental impact and thus increased regulatory effort required of us.”
By 7 July 2015 all affected activities must have an installation permit.
The EA stressed that although firms can continue to operate lawfully under existing permits until then, pre-application discussions, application preparation, submission and determination all need to take place before that date.
The agency added: “It is imperative, if you are to remain legal after 7 July 2015, that you submit your application to vary your permit at the earliest opportunity.”