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Waste Management Combustion plants, including power stations

Combustion plants, including power stations

How we regulate combustion plants, including power stations and the oil industry.

Our top priority is maintaining public confidence through robust, transparent application of environmental standards. We inspect and audit the sites to ensure these standards are met.

Combustion plants are regulated under a number of mechanisms including the Large Combustion Plant Directive and the Pollution, Prevention and Control Regulations which will transfer to the Industrial Emissions Directive in 2016.

We regulate approximately 300 combustion plants in England and Wales with a rated thermal input of greater than 50MW, including 150 combustion plants in other sectors such as paper and pulp. These are listed in Section 1.1, Part (A) 1 of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations and normally require a bespoke environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency.

Smaller plants such as landfill gas engines are regulated as directly associated activities or waste operations. Local authorities regulate combustion activities between 20 and 50MWth.

Regulatory guidance series: EPR 2 Understanding the meaning of regulated facility

Applying for a permit
Applications for plants require consultation. We consult with the public, local authorities, Primary Care Trusts, local Health Boards and other interested parties so we have the right information on which to base our decision. We’ll issue a permit if we’re satisfied the plant can be operated in a way that protects the environment and people and meets legal requirements.

How we monitor the combustion sector’s environmental impacts
carry out permit reviews measuring against the EU best available techniques reference documents (BREFs)
encourage reduction of emissions to air of SO2, NOx and particulate matter
encourage reduction to releases to land, particularly of Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA)
address sites that cause significant nuisance to neighbours
assess all new installations for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) potential, and encourage combustion of sustainable biomass
enable better operated compliant operators to be audited by third party inspection
Large combustion plants

New guidance for environmental permits relating to Chapter III plants takes into account changes introduced by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED):
IED: Chapter III Plant – key objectives and interpretational aspects
Permitting biomass fired combustion plant which opted out of the Large Combustion Plant Directive, under the Industrial Emissions Directive

Energy efficiency
To get a permit, combustion power plants with a thermal input of 50MW or more must include combined heat and power (CHP) or be CHP-ready.

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