Consultation on the appropriate measures for the biological treatment of waste

The Environment Agency welcomes contribution from the industry with their consultation on the appropriate measures for the biological treatment of waste. The EA suggest that their proposed guidance will help inform operators of which appropriate measures are relevant to biological treatment facilities.

The Environment Agency (EA) are seeking comments on the proposed amendments to the ‘appropriate measures’ for the biological treatment of waste at permitted facilities. These changes will apply to all new and existing facilities with environmental permits used to treat organic waste (e.g. compost (aerobic and in-vessel), mechanical biological treatment (MBT), waste-water treatment plants and anaerobic digestion (both wet and dry) plants). In addition to these changes, BAT will also be enforced from August 2022.

The key drivers for these stricter controls are to reduce serious accidents/incidents within the sector and to improve local air quality.

There will be an increased focus on written management systems with a closer alignment to the requirements of ISO14001, and operational procedures (particularly pre-acceptance checks for bulk liquids) as well as strict assessment and compliance with HAZOP, DSEAR & COMAH Regulations.

New Leak Detection And Repair (LDAR) Plans will be required by all facilities to identify, measure and minimise fugitive emissions from all point and area sources onsite. Sufficient resources will be expected to be made available to remediate all low-cost measures within 12 months. All organic wastes must now be covered to prevent emissions (e.g. ammonia). This applies to all new and existing plants currently in operation.

Continuous monitoring of all pressure relief valves (PRVs) and similar devices will now be required to record date, time and event duration on SCADA. Odour and emission abatement systems will have to undergo increased performance monitoring to prove efficacy and to ensure they remain effective at all times, supported by a robust inspection and maintenance programme undertaken by suitably qualified and competent staff.

Wiser Environment encourages all those who operate within – or are affected by – the biological treatment industry to contribute to the consultation. The EA’s consultation on the appropriate measures for the biological treatment of waste will be available until the 21st of August. For those who would like Wiser Environment to submit a response on their behalf, then contact us or call on 01480 462232.