Environment Agency to review bio-waste sector

The Environment Agency (EA) has announced that it will be reviewing permitted waste sites within the bio-waste sector, which includes composting, anaerobic digestion and mechanical biological treatment.

An anaerobic digestion (AD) plant

The review comes as part of a recent drive to improve the performance of the sector, with recent changes in legislation requiring that biowaste treatment facilities comply with best available techniques to ensure that emissions do not exceed the specified limits. In accordance with this legislation, composting and AD sites are obligated to monitor and control their waste to reduce their emissions and ensure environmental protection.

As well as maintaining consistency across bio-waste regulation, the review will also ensure that the objectives of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan are met.

The review will begin with bespoke installations permits, and sites with the highest risk of poor performance will be prioritised.

A standard rules consultation will be published in the early autumn, and the EA will shortly request information from operators on their process and pollution control measures to assess against new best available techniques.

An EA spokesperson said: “The aim of the review of permitted sites is to ensure the bio-waste sector continues to grow and develop in a sustainable and efficient way, providing benefits to communities and the environment.

“The review has developed with input from industry representatives from the bio-waste sector, ensuring we are well sighted on opportunities and issues.”

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