Standard rules permits subject to EA changes

On 10th April 2019, the Environment Agency (EA) published new and revised standard rule sets affecting standard rules permits for everything from WEEE and scrap metal, to crude oil, dredgings and construction waste. The changes include a number of amendments, added and removed conditions and clarify wording.

The EA have made changes to reflect the scale of activities permitted under Standard Rules and for certain activities specifically prohibited point source emissions. This is in response to the EA concerns that certain standard rules permits were provided to cover a broad range of activities but have since seen operators specialising in one aspect.

Changes made to standard rules permits

These changes included:

  • WEEE – SR 2008No19, SR 2015No3 & SR2015No15 – The annual throughput limit of authorised treatment facilities for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been reduced to 25,000 tonnes and limits have been placed on the volumes of batteries that can be accepted. The EA has clarified the storage requirements of certain wastes and prohibited point source emissions to air.
  • Metal recovery/ scrap metal – SR2008 No21, SR2011 No2, SR2015 No14 and SR2015 No16 – The annual throughput of authorised treatment facilities for metal recycling has also been reduced to 25,000 tonnes. The EA has added conditions that allow the storage but not treatment, of up to 10,000 tonnes of intact catalytic convertors. Certain waste types have been removed from standard rules permits and others added.

Charles Thomas, Consultancy Director, Wiser Environment says: “Whilst some of these clarifications are welcomed, other changes will make it increasingly difficult for smaller operators and new entrants to the recycling market to make incremental developments to their business. Increasingly, the steps in terms of cost and permit determination periods is frustrating businesses. My concern is that we run the risk of stifling new blood and future innovators but also potentially forcing some operators ‘underground’. Improvements in environmental control, where risk based, are important but I would like to see more consideration given to the impact on the supply chain. Where changes are necessary, a phased approach would perhaps be more appropriate.”

Find out more

Wiser Environment has summarised the changes to standard rules permits in a handy table to make it easy for our clients to understand whether and how they might be affected. To get hold of a copy of this table, please contact us.

You can find out more about standard rules for environmental permitting on the Government website. If you need assistance to understanding the effects of the standard rules permit changes on your business, please contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.

Find out more about how Wiser Environment can help you obtain bespoke and standard rules permits and other consents.