The EA is prepared to be flexible on how organisations meet fire prevention plan (FPP) requirements, Wiser Environment learnt last month.
Attending the Fire Prevention and Control Conference organised by the Environment Media Group, Wiser Environment heard speakers from the Environment Agency (EA), the Chief Fire Officers Association and Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) share opinions on FPP guidance and how best to prevent fires.
The EA explained the principles behind the fire prevention planning requirements, outlining its three core objectives – minimising fire risk, a fire to be extinguished within four hours and minimising the spread of fire. Whilst the FPP guidance outlines steps that need to be taken, the EA suggested they were willing to be flexible in the interpretation of the guidance and allow alternative measures to be proposed if they meet the three core objectives. The EA admitted that they were unable to provide examples of this flexible approach in practice as it was still early days.
Charles Thomas, Consultancy Director, Wiser Environment said: “Whilst we welcome clarification from the EA on their application of the guidance, the reality is that around half of submitted FPPs are currently rejected, costing businesses time and money. The process is complex so we would advise that anyone submitting a plan consults a specialist. Wiser Environment retains a 100% success rate in getting FPPs approved by understanding the complexities and liaising extensively with the EA.”
Other discussions at the conference included the disbanding of the EA Fire Panel and training for staff so that local officers and national permitting can the lead on Fire Prevention Plans and the initial results from the fire tests carried out by WISH in order to build their own guidance on fire prevention.
An environmental permit was issued last month for one of the UK’s largest catalytic convertor recyclers following the change in classification of the waste.
In March 2016, the Environment Agency reclassified catalytic converters as hazardous waste due to the Refractory Ceramic Fibre (RCF) matting used in some units. As it is currently not possible to distinguish between the different types, all catalytic converters are deemed hazardous until proved otherwise and therefore anyone storing or treating them will require an Environmental Permit.
Wiser Environment has prepared, submitted and successfully obtained a bespoke Environmental Permit on behalf of Hensel Recycling (UK) Ltd, whom have now become one of the first to be fully compliant following the withdrawal of Low Risk Waste Positions (LRWPs) 362 & 405 in February 2016.
Frank Rettinger, Hensel Recycling (UK) Ltd says: “Wiser Environment has successfully obtained a bespoke Environment Permit for our catalytic converter recycling facility to comply with the change in legislation governing the treatment of catalytic converters. They have managed the entire process: from the initial discussions with the Environment Agency, preparing and submitting the application pack, to providing guidance and practical support to us along the way.”
Since submitting this application, Wiser Environment has been recommended to other such operators and currently has another bespoke Environment Permit ‘Duly Made’ and awaiting determination by the Environment Agency. If you have not already submitted your application or are having difficulties satisfying the stringent requirements, please contact us on 01480 462 232 and one of our experienced consultants will be happy to assist you.
Hensel Recycling Group, which is headquartered in Aschaffenburg, Germany, has been a major international player in the field of precious-metal recycling since 1998. With more than 250 employees in nine countries, the company offers its customers a complete portfolio of services for the recovery and recycling of materials containing precious metals, such as catalytic converters, oxygen sensors, electronic control units and circuit boards. Find out more about Hensel Recycling.