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Fortnightly Bulletin – 1st March 2021

2 March 2021

Fortnightly Bulletin EMS
Specified generator and medium combustion plant new bespoke permits: RPS 243

There are delays to the EA’s permitting service. They have stated that the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), added to a high number of applications that were received in 2020 (continuing into this year) the ability to determine permit applications was reduced. Therefore, the EA have introduced this regulatory position statement (RPS) for medium combustion plant (MCP) and specified generator (SG) bespoke permit applications.

If you comply with the conditions in this RPS you can operate a SG or MCP without a permit whilst the EA determine your application.

If you have applied for a new permit for a section 5.1 Part (B)(a)(v) medium combustion plant for the combustion of waste wood biomass in a small waste incinerator plant see RPS 244.

This RPS does not apply to applications for an authorisation to operate a Part A or Part B installation.

You must tell the Environment Agency before you use this RPS.

Click for further information.

Medium combustion plant (MCP) section 5.1 Part B new permits: RPS 244

Section 5.1(B)(a)(v) activities allow combustion of clean waste wood biomass between 50 kg/hr and 3 t/hr in a small waste incineration plant (SWIP).

If the thermal input of the SWIP is greater than 1MWth (approximately at fuel feed rates greater than 225kg/hr) the Medium Combustion Plant Directive applies.

This means the Environment Agency will regulate the SWIP under Schedule 25A environmental permitting regulations (EPR) 2016 and the operator will need an environmental permit.

If the SWIP generates electricity, Schedule 25B will also apply.

If you comply with the conditions in this regulatory position statement (RPS) you can operate the following without a permit whilst the EA determine your application:

  • a section 5.1 Part (B)(a)(v) medium combustion plant (MCP) for combustion of waste wood biomass in a small waste incinerator
  • a specified generator (SG)

You must tell the Environment Agency before you use this RPS.

Click for further information.

Source: Environment Agency Briefings Feb 2021

Articles of Interest
Monitoring Stack Emissions: low risk MCPs and specified generators

How to monitor emissions from low-risk medium combustion plants (MCPs) and specified generators (SGs). This document was previously known as TGN M5.

This guidance provides a standardised approach to monitoring stack gas emissions from low-risk plants regulated under the:

This guidance is for operators of:

  • low risk MCPs and SGs with standard rules permits
  • MCPs and SGs that are not low risk but have a condition in their permit that says they must use this guidance when monitoring compliance with emissions limits

Click for further information.

If you require stack emissions monitoring to ensure compliance with the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) please visit this website.

Source: Environment Agency Briefings  Feb 2021

Record Environment Agency Fines Handed out in 2020

The EA have published the largest fines handed out in 2020. This includes:

  • A large airline company fined £51.9 million for failing to surrender sufficient allowances to cover emissions from its planes. This was in breach of Regulation 42(A)(2) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012
  • A water company fined £800,000 for illegally discharging 3.8 million litres of raw sewage from its treatment works into a local stream in Shropshire
  • A Housing developer fined £600,000 for destroying bats; They carried out a demolition of a building which was home to protected soprano pipistrelle bats which led to the largest fine ever imposed for a wildlife offence

Source: Tips and Advice Issue 8 01.02.2021

Don’t think it will never happen to your business. Ensure you have adequate controls in place to manage your environmental risks. Appoint an environmentally qualified person to help you remain compliant and mitigate your liabilities. 

Fines and Prosecutions
Packaging Printers Fined £17,000 for Operating without an Environmental Permit

A Wakefield based packaging printers knowingly operated without an environmental permit, allowing solvents to escape from their processes without abatement. Its director was prosecuted for consenting or conniving in the offence.

The inks it uses are solvent-based and are subject to controls under the Local Air Pollution Prevention and Control Regime. Solvents are volatile organic compounds that can contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.

The absence of an environmental permit was first noted by Wakefield Council in 2018, after which one of its environmental protection officers worked with the firm, in the expectation that it would seek one. But as no application was made and the firm ceased communications with the council, prosecution followed the following year.

Source: Ends Report, 10th February 2021

All businesses must ensure that they operate with an environmental permit if their activity is subject to the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016. Ignorance is no defence, if you think you require a permit seek pre-application advice from the Environment Agency or approach an Environmental Consultancy company for assistance.

If you have been informed by the EA that your operation requires a permit, do not ignore their advice. You must take steps to submit an application to allow your site to operate to ensure that you don’t harm the environment and human health.

Online learning and events
Virtual PEFC Stakeholder Workshop

24th March 2021 @ 09:30

PEFC’s revised Chain of Custody ST 2002 and PEFC Trademarks ST 2001 standards were endorsed in February 2020.  The workshop lasts approximately 3 hours and is free to attend. To reserve your place, send an e-mail to

UK Business and Biodiversity Forum

18th March 2021

Now, more than ever, is the time to bring UK businesses together to focus on nature, seeking business innovation and opportunities to put biodiversity conservation at the heart of a green recovery.

Representatives from UK businesses and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC United Kingdom), in conjunction with IEMA, invite you to join a webinar introducing the new UK Business & Biodiversity Forum.

During the Webinar, the team will talk through the purpose of the UKBBF, showcase some of the work UK businesses are already doing, and provide an opportunity to discuss the issues you’re having to manage in relation to biodiversity and how the UKBBF can support your business.

To book a place click here.

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