Fortnightly Bulletin – 6th November 2023
7 November 2023
Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) and Specified Generators (SG) update – England only
Standard Rules permit applications for existing MCPs 5-20MWth should have been made before 30th September 2023 to allow the Environment Agency the statutory time to determine them and issue a permit before the regulatory deadline of the 1st of January 2024.
Applications made after this date cannot be guaranteed to be permitted by the 1st of January 2024.
Operations which continue to operate without the necessary permit after the 1st of January 2024 may be subject to enforcement action. Submit the permit application as soon as possible to avoid this.
Cleaning and sterilising waste medical instruments containing metal for recovery: RPS 160
On the 30th of July 2020, a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on cleaning and sterilising medical instruments containing metal for recovery was published.
On the 20th of October, the RPS was updated to extend the expiry date to 1 August 2026.
The RPS does not change your legal requirement to have an environmental permit for a waste operation to clean and sterilise waste medical instruments containing metal. This applies to both single use and end-of-life multiuse instruments.
However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement provided that:
- your activity meets the description set out in this RPS,
- you comply with the conditions set out in this RPS.
In addition, your activity must not cause (or be likely to cause) pollution for the environment or harm to human health, and must not:
- cause a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals,
- cause a nuisance through noise or odours,
- adversely affect the countryside or places of interest.
Storing and treating hazardous waste wood: RPS 291
This RPS does not change your legal requirement to have and comply with an environmental permit for a waste operation or a waste installation when you store at a transfer station or treat by size reduction, hazardous waste wood from demolition and refurbishment activities.
This RPS also does not change your legal requirement to transfer hazardous waste in line with the legal requirements surrounding the transport of hazardous waste.
However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with these legal requirements if you meet the requirements in this RPS.
Operating peak combustion power plant in an emergency in winter 2023: RPS 268
The Environment Agency has published a regulatory position statement for operating peaking combustion power plant in an emergency in winter 2023.
The RPS does not change your legal requirement to comply with your environmental permit.
However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with these legal requirements if you exceed the annual operating hour limits in your permit because you need to operator at times of electricity shortage. This only applies until the 31st of December 2023 and is provided you meet the requirements in the RPS.
The regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.
Articles of Interest
Simpler recycling collections and tougher regulation to reform waste system
Reforms to household and business bin collections and a crackdown on unscrupulous waste carriers will boost recycling rates and protect the environment, the Government announced at the end of October.
A new, simpler common-sense approach to recycling will mean people across England will be able to recycle the same materials, whether at home, work, or school. This would put an end to the confusion over what can and cannot be recycled in different parts of the country.
Weekly collections of food waste will also be introduced for most households across England by 2026.
The government is proposing new exemptions to make sure that waste collectors will be able to collect dry recyclables together, in the same bin or bag, and collect organic waste together, to reduce the number of bins required.
The new plans for simpler recycling will make sure that households will not need an excessive number of bins. The reforms will bring in a more convenient and practical system which prevents councils from being hit with extra complexity, while making sure all local authorities collect the required recyclable waste streams: glass, metal, plastic, paper and card, food waste, and garden waste.
Manufacturers will be able to design packaging and know it can be recycled across the nation, ensuring there is more recycled material in the products we buy and allowing the UK recycling industry to grow.
Source: Environment Agency
Welsh ban on sale of some single-use plastic items comes into force
Several single-use plastic products have been banned from being sold across Wales, as new legislation comes into force.
The Welsh government said the ban would reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the environment by prohibiting the supply of certain produces.
The single-use plastics prohibited from sale include:
- single-use plastic plates,
- single-use plastic cutlery,
- single-use drink stirrers,
- cups made from expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene.
Source: The Guardian
Online Learning and Events
Webinar: Environmental Legal Update
10th November 2023, 12.30 pm – 13.30pm
Join this environmental legal update webinar that will look back at the most significant developments of 2023 to date, as well as looking forward to 2024.
It will also include a short analysis of the main political parties environment policies in light of the possible general election in 2024 giving an indication of what the medium term environment policy and legal agenda might look like.
Yorkshire & Humberside: Circular Economy: Change in Practice, a Yorkshire Perspective
16th November 2023, 08:30-10:00am
This digital event is an opportunity to hear from leading voices in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, including York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and vehicle recycling company, Synetiq based in Doncaster on some of the experiences they have had on implementing Circular Economy Strategies.
Tickets for this event are free.