Fortnightly Bulletin – 20th March 2023
21 March 2023
Energy Security Bill: factsheets (March updates)
The government has published two new factsheets relating to the Energy Security Bill introduced to Parliament on the 6th of July 2022:
- ‘Energy Security Bill factsheet: Recycled carbon fuels and nuclear derived fuels for transport published’.
- ‘Energy Security Bill overarching factsheet’, which includes information about the deployment of offshore wind and the decarbonisation of UK transport.
SR2021 No 8: on-farm anaerobic digestion facility using farm wastes only, including use of the resultant biogas – installations
The SR2021 No8 standard rules permit is for a Part A installation:
- with an anaerobic digestion capacity of over 100 tonnes of waste, or a combination of waste and non-waste each day,
- accepting no more than 100,000 tonnes per year.
SR2021 No8 incorporates SR2021 No9.
On the 13th of March 2023, the introductory note for the standard rules permit, SR2021 No8, was updated. Under the minimum distances from sensitive receptors and in condition 2.2, the text has changed from ‘250 metres of the nearest sensitive receptor where any processing or storage of digestate fibre is in the open’ to ‘250 metres of the nearest sensitive receptor where any further treatment takes place by composting digestate fibre in the open’.
SR2021 No 9: on-farm anaerobic digestion facility, including use of the resultant biogas – waste recovery operation
The SR2021 No9 standard rules permit is for a facility:
On the 13th of March 2023, the introductory note for the standard rules permit, SR2021 No9, was updated. Under the minimum distances from sensitive receptors and in condition 2.2, the text has changed from ‘250 metres of the nearest sensitive receptor where any processing or storage of digestate fibre is in the open’ to ‘250 metres of the nearest sensitive receptor where any further treatment takes place by composting digestate fibre in the open’.
SR2021 No 7: on-farm anaerobic digestion facility, including use of the resultant biogas – waste recovery operation
The SR2021 No7 standard rules permit is for a facility:
- with a treatment capacity of less than 100 tonnes of waste each day,
- accepting no more than 35,000 tonnes each year.
On the 13th of March 2023, the introductory note for the standard rules permit, SR2021 No7, was updated to add ‘250 metres of the nearest sensitive receptor where any further treatment takes place by composting digestate fibre in the open’ under the minimum distances from sensitive receptors.
Articles of Interest
Hemsby: How many other communities are at risk of erosion?
Last weekend, three homes In Hemsby were claimed by coastal erosion, with a further two properties at serious risk.
The East Anglian coastline is no stranger to coastal erosion. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the sea reclaimed much of Dunwich in Suffolk. In the North Sea baseline, more than 300 settlements have been lost to coastal erosion and flooding in the past 900 years.
It is a threat that continues to loom over many coastal communities to this day.
Dr John Barlow, senior lecturer in applied geomorphology at the University of Sussex, speaks about the ‘eye watering’ cost of managing coastal erosion. “If you are looking to protect something that costs less than the cost of defending it, it won’t happen.”
Each short stretch of the East Anglian coast has its own shoreline management plan.
Together, these plans reveal the potential scale of home, business and land losses on the cards for those who live there. Hemsby comes under the Kelling to Lowestoft Ness plan, which warns how up to 90 properties could be lost between 2012 and 2025 and a further 440 by 2055.
The climate models predict a sea level rise of about 1m (3ft) during the coming century.
“That’s a big problem,” said Dr Barlow, “because it means the past rates of erosion are no longer going to be a good indicator for the future.”
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said “Climate change, sea level rise and increased storminess will increase the rate of change which will threaten the resilience of coastal communities if no action is taken”.
“The Government is investing £5.2 billion over six years on flood and coastal erosion schemes to better protect communities across England.”
“Approximately 17% (340) of the projects in the £5.2bn 2021-27 programme will help better protect coastal communities.”
Fines and Prosecutions
Cambridge firm pays £30k after breaching packaging regulations
A company registered in Cambridge failed to register as a packaging producer and take steps to recover and recycle its packaging waste under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended).
The Regulations apply to Companies with a turnover in excess of £2million and which handled more than 50 tonnes of packaging in the previous year.
The company admitted to offences which took place between 2005 and 2020. The Environment Agency accepted an Enforcement Undertaking (EU) offer from the company to address the breach of the environmental legislation.
An Enforcement Undertaking is a voluntary offer made by companies and individuals to make amends for their offending, and usually includes a donation to an environmental charity to carry out improvements in the local area.
The money has been donated to The Woodland Trust’s Mead Appeal in Derbyshire who are working hard to transform a former opencast mine into a haven for wildlife and people. The project will boost animal wildlife such as 40 bird species as well as badgers, water vole, foxes and more.
Housing company must pay for illegal waste activity
A company imported waste soil – containing wood, metal, wire cables, rubber, plastic and vehicle tyres – on to its housing development site near Stannington.
It submitted an Enforcement Undertaking to the Environment Agency, which has now been accepted.
The company will pay £50,000 to Northumberland Wildlife Trust, £30,000 to Wear Rivers Trust and £20,000 to Tyne Rivers Trust.
Between 22 November and 12 December 2017 the company imported around 2,688 cubic metres of contaminated waste soil on to the site from one of their other developments at nearby Five Mile Park. It said this was to build a soil bund around an attenuation pond – which is an artificial pond created to catch excess rainwater.
In February 2019 an Environment Agency officer attended the site after receiving a report of illegal waste activity. An enforcement notice was subsequently issued meaning the waste had to be removed from the pond area. It was moved to another area of the site and then on to a permitted waste facility for disposal during July and August 2020.
The company said its consultants had told them it was allowed to import the soil without any authorisation, which is not correct.
As part of the Enforcement Undertaking requirements, the company must improve awareness of the law in relation to soils and waste and review its protocols to prevent future issues.
Online Learning and Events
Do you work in or near watercourses?
20th April 2023 13:00-14:00
Cura Terrae is bringing together environmental experts from across the organisation to explain environmental permitting, licensing and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requirements for those planning a project which will affect a watercourse. Topics covered will include;
- When do you need an environmental permit?
- Applying for an environmental permit – timescales and requirements
- What is Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)?
- How BNG might affect your projects after November 2023
The World Biogas Summit
29th-30th March 2023, NEC Birmingham
From food and energy security to climate action, biogas is the key to every nation’s sustainable future. The World Biogas Summit will address the ways and means to move beyond potential and ambition to delivery.
Circular Business Models, Workshop
31st March 2023 12:00-13:00
Transitioning to a circular business model doesn’t need to be an huge undertaking. Organisations can identify and implement individual circular strategies that help the business start or further their journey to sustainability.
Steering group members have been developing new guidance aimed at helping sustainability professionals to implement circular strategies more easily.
We would like to invite circular economy network members to a workshop to hear more about the guidance being developed and hold an interactive session to hear your feedback.