The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
All waste facilities, including energy from waste (EfW) incinerators, are regulated to prevent or minimise any risks to the environment or health. There is an extensive range of regulations and directives which control how and where EfW plants can be used.
Local authorities regulate most small (less than one tonne/hour waste) incinerators. The Environment Agency (EA) regulates all incinerators that burn hazardous waste as well as other incinerators that burn non-hazardous waste at a rate of more than one tonne per hour. The EA also regulates all EfW plants burning municipal waste to make sure that the emissions are as low as possible to protect the environment and human health. For more information on the technologies to convert waste to energy, see Practice Note: Waste to energy—technologies.
The EA is responsible for:
assessing and consulting on applications for environmental permits
ensuring that the standards used in designing, maintaining and operating EfW plants meet European standards
requiring emission monitoring to measure concentrations of pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrogen chloride, and carbon monoxide
carrying out on-site auditing of operator monitoring
carrying out regular site inspections
requiring operators to inform the EA within 24 hours if any of the emission limits set out in the environmental permit are exceeded, or
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