Draft Air Quality Plan to tackle NOx emissions from diesel generators

The UK Government published its draft Air Quality Plan earlier this month for tackling nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions. As part of the plan, released on 5th May 2017, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is consulting on new measures to tackle NOx emissions from medium combustion plants (MCPs) and diesel generators by the end of 2018.

Within the UK, there has been rapid growth in the use of low cost, small scale flexible generators to provide heat and power for large buildings (offices, hotels, hospitals, prisons) and industrial processes, as well as decentralised power generation during periods of peak demand. Whilst the Government recognises that there is a role for some rapid-responding, small-scale generation (such as gas), the recent growth of (mainly diesel) generators that emit high levels of NOx relative to other MCPs is seen to be contributing to the deterioration of local air quality.

The consultation seeks views on draft plans to implement the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) and emission controls on generators in England and Wales in order to improve air quality.

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) seeks to reduce air pollution by introducing emission controls for combustion plants in the 1 to 50MWth range. The Directive requires all plant in scope to be registered or permitted, and sets limits on the levels of pollutants that these plants can emit according to their type, size, age, fuel type and annual operating hours from December 2018 and existing plants in 2025 and 2030. It also requires operators to test emissions from their plants to demonstrate compliance with emission limits.

Air dispersion modelling indicates that diesel generators without stack design measures, such as multi-flue tall stack designs, operating pattern restrictions or abatement to achieve stringent ELVs are likely to cause breaches of the short term NO2 air quality standard if there are sensitive receptors nearby. The NO2 short term standard is an hourly mean limit value of 200µg/m3, not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year.

The Environment Agency (EA) recommends that site specific assessments are conducted for all new permit applications unless large multi-flue stack configurations are proposed. From 1st January 2019 all generators will require a permit, with a few exceptions.

Wiser Environment can provide site specific assessments, including air dispersion modelling for air quality assessments, required in both planning and environmental permit applications, as well as for ongoing compliance and best practice. Combining in-house expertise and the world leading industrial air pollution modelling software, ADMS (Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling System) 5.2, we deliver accurate and timely air quality assessments.

If you think you will be affected by the new Directive and permit requirements, contact Graeme on 01480 462 232 for further information.

WISH guidance – an alternative to the EA’s fire prevention plans?

The most recent fire safety webinar hosted by the CIWM provided an informative review of the recently published WISH guidance, WASTE 28 Reducing fire risk at waste management sites.

The latest version of the WISH Waste 28 guidance, which was published April 2017, aims to provide good practice guidance which may potentially be used to propose alternative operating measures to those found in the Environment Agency’s Fire Prevention Plan Guidance.

Attending the fire safety webinar, Wiser Environment learnt that the guidance will shortly be due for further review following tests on appropriate firefighting techniques, which is scheduled for June 2017.

Sophie Stephenson, Environmental Consultant, Wiser Environment said: “We welcome the upcoming firefighting techniques tests to be carried out by WISH. In the absence of clear evidence it can often be challenging to demonstrate how proposed methods are appropriate to the site specific risk.”

The webinar also discussed the UKs other regulatory bodies’ position on the WISH guidance, with a suggestion being made that Natural Resources Wales will be developing their own fire safety guidance. SEPA who have provided their approval of the WISH guidance have yet to make comment on whether they will be adopting one of the already published fire safety guidance documents or whether they will be creating their own.

Directors complete first fundraising challenge

Two of the Directors of Wiser Group have completed the first of their fundraising challenges this summer to raise money for the Firefighters Charity and Raptor Foundation.

Russell and Dominic Hirst completed the Three Peaks Fell Race along with 700 other runners on 29th April, finishing in 4 hours 40 and 4 hours 27 respectively – no mean feat for 23 miles of fell running with over 1,600 metres of ascent and descent of three of the highest summits in Yorkshire!

The brothers will be joined by fellow director Charles Thomas and friend Alistair Whitehead to take on their second challenge, cycling across the Pyrenees from 12th to 16th June 2017. The four will cover over 400km including 8,000m of climbing in four days including one of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France, Col du Tourmalet.

Having experienced the amazing support of firefighters last year, and seen what they put themselves through, when Wiser Recycling’s Cambridgeshire facility burnt down, the directors are keen to raise funds for the Fire Fighters Charity. The national charity supports over 5,000 former and current fire and rescue personnel each year with services that include rehabilitation, nursing and family support.

Funds will also be raised for the Raptor Foundation. The Cambridgeshire charity, of which Russell is a Trustee, provides 24 hour care and rehabilitation for injured raptors, helping to support these increasingly rare species.

Please support us in our challenges and help us raise funds for these valuable causes – donate today.