Changing requirements for hazardous waste producers

From 1st April 2016, hazardous waste producers in England will no longer be required to register with the Environment Agency.

Currently those premises where 500kg or more of hazardous waste is produced, collected or removed from, they are required to register with the Environment Agency. From 1st April, there will no longer be a requirement to register in England. Those in Wales will still need to register with Natural Resources Wales. The change is part of Government’s challenge to cut red tape for businesses.

To support this change, the unique consignment note code format will also change from 1st April 2016 for all quantities of hazardous waste. The format of current consignment notes will no longer be acceptable.

For further information, see the Environment Agency’s documents: Changes to Premises Registration and the Consignment Note Number format and FAQs_160107_FINALv2.

Farmer prosecuted for illegal spreading

A farmer in County Durham and his waste supplier from Bishop Auckland have been prosecuted by the Environment Agency following unlawful spreading of waste.

Ten loads of washwater were delivered to the farmer and spread on fields used to produce animal feed. Although the farmer was permitted to use waste as fertiliser, the type of waste didn’t match those on his environmental permit.

The defendants have received fines exceeding a total of £12,000 and both have put in place procedures to protect against further incidents in future.

Find out more on the Government website.

ISO and OHSAS certifications renewed

Wiser Group’s certification for ISO 14001 (environmental management system), ISO 9001 (quality management system) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health & safety management systems) have been renewed until 2019 after the group passed its external audits this month.

ISOQARThe group was extensively audited by ISOQAR to retain the UKAS accredited standards. Over the three day audit, ISOQAR reviewed and audited a variety of procedures, processes and records of the Wiser Group’s Integrated Management System and interviewed staff to ensure that the group is working in line with procedures, is legally compliant and has identified the environmental and health & safety impacts of its operations.

The Wiser Group has held certifications for ISO 14001, 9001 and OHSAS 18001 since 2010. Our certificate number is 10989.

In 2016, the Group will start working towards the new 2015 standards for ISO 14001 and 9001 which were announced in September 2015. Those holding earlier certifications are required to migrate these to the new standards by September 2018.

For assistance with gaining ISO certifications and migrating these to the new standards, please contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.

Fire Prevention Plans delay permit applications

The need to submit Fire Prevention Plans (FPP) with environmental permits applications is delaying permit applications as companies struggle to meet the Environment Agency’s (EA) requirements.

Following the publication of the EA’s Fire Prevention Plan Guidance ??????in March last year, anyone applying for environmental permits, or a variation to existing permits, for a site that stores combustible waste needs to have a robust Fire Prevention Plan. As a result, the EA is undertaking a technical review of FPP’s submitted with environmental permits and returning applications where the plans are found to be insufficient.

Charles Thomas, Consultancy Director, Wiser Environment says: “The level of information required in these plans and their interpretation is still developing. With extensive experience of preparing environmental permit applications and Fire Prevention Plans, we are able to ensure information submitted meets the EA requirements and doesn’t hold up our clients’ applications. For companies struggling to get to grips with the requirements, this is causing significant delays for permit applications. With the EA’s current consultation on proposed changes to Fire Prevention Plan, the confusion and resulting delays are set to stay for the foreseeable future”.

For assistance with fire prevention plans and environmental permit applications, call Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.

Portable battery definition change

The definition of portable batteries changed from 1st January 2016 affecting battery manufacturing and recycling.

??????????The Environment Agency (EA) has stated that batteries that weigh more than 4kg are no longer considered portable batteries but are now classified as industrial. The EA has also confirmed that batteries that weight less than 4 kg can still be classed as industrial if they are ‘designed exclusively for professional or industrial use’.

Batteries used in the home, for example AA, AAA and button batteries are generally classified as portable unless they have higher than normal voltage.

For further clarification, please visit the Government’s website.