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Waste Incineration (Scotland) Regulations 2003: Practical Guidance: Edition 2

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CHAPTER 3: HOW WASTE INCINERATION INSTALLATIONS WILL BE REGULATED

3.1 How sites will be regulated

The intention is that all waste incineration installations will eventually be regulated as Part A processes under the PPC Regulations. There are transitional arrangements for existing plants, which are defined in the following sections and in Chapter 4.

Incineration is a regulated activity under Section 5.1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the PPC Regulations. Some significant adjustments have been made to Section 5.1 by the new Regulations to ensure that all waste incineration installations falling within the scope of WID are classified as Part A processes. Larger excluded plants (those with a capacity equal to or greater than 1 tonne per hour) will be regulated as Part A processes, and other excluded plant will be regulated as Part B processes or will fall outside the scope of PPC regulation altogether if their capacity is below 50kg per hour.

Many co-incinerators fall within the definition of Part A processes under various sections of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the PPC Regulations. Co-incineration of waste will become a Part A process under Section 5.1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 where it is not already a Part A process under another section.

For example, a 60 MW boiler is regulated as a Part A process. If the boiler sometimes burns waste as an additional fuel then it would remain regulated as a Part A process under the same section as before, but the requirements of the Regulations would apply.

It should be remembered that for waste incineration installations there is no lower capacity limit under which the requirements of the Regulations do not apply. For excluded plant the capacity is used as the threshold to determine if the process is regulated as a Part A or Part B process, or under the waste management licensing regime.

The capacity of an incineration process should be calculated based on overall cycle time for the process to complete all the necessary operations. The cycle time cannot use delays introduced by the operator, e.g. decision to only work 12 hours a day, or other external constraints, e.g. that the meat and livestock commission do not operate at night. Only legitimate process steps constrained by the equipment and techniques employed to operate the process are valid in an assessment of cycle time. The total mass charged during the period is divided by the total cycle time, and the resultant number gives the operating rate. It is this number which should then be compared with any capacity constraints in the Regulations to determine whether or not it is a prescribed activity, and if so what type. There are at least two sets of numbers which can be used for the calculation, either the design numbers or actual operating numbers. For deciding on capacity for the purpose of the Regulations the original maximum design capacity figures obtained by this method are used, or where modified, any resultant maximum capacity. Where there are several units, the capacity of each unit by this method should be added together to get an overall installation capacity.

Installations falling within paragraphs (f), (g) or (h) of Part A of the new Section 5.1 are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Regulations. They will be regulated as Part A processes under PPC but they are not subject to the requirements placed on waste incineration installations described in Chapters 4 and 5. Paragraph (h) was inserted by the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005 ( SSI 2005 No 101). These 2005 Regulations also amended Part B of Section 5.1.

The reference point for the BAT consideration will be indicated by the requirements and standards within the Regulations. As new techniques become available, or are refined, BAT may require a plant to operate to standards tighter than those in the Regulations. It should also be noted that the requirements of the Regulations only cover part of the BAT assessment. The operator will need to demonstrate BAT across the full range of areas covered by it, as detailed in the PPC Regulations.

Section 5.1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the PPC Regulations is divided into a number of paragraphs. The paragraph which an installation falls into is important in determining the detailed permitting requirements to which the plant will be subject. The following table explains the new Section 5.1 paragraphs.

Section 5.1

Explanation

Part A activity

(a) The incineration of hazardous waste in an incineration plant.

This paragraph does not include the incineration of hazardous waste in an excluded plant. Such plant are covered by Part A (f).

This paragraph does not include co-incineration of hazardous waste. This activity is covered by Part A (b).

There is no lower capacity threshold for this paragraph.

(b) Unless carried out as part of any other Part A activity, the incineration of hazardous waste in a co-incineration plant.

This paragraph covers co-incineration plants that were part of an activity that, before the regulations, were regulated as a Part B installation in any Section of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the PPC Regulations. There is no lower capacity threshold for this paragraph.

Such co-incinerators now need to be regulated as Part A activities and have, therefore, been brought within Part A of Section 5.1. It is not expected that many installations will fall within this paragraph.

(c) The incineration of non-hazardous waste in an incineration plant with a capacity of 1 tonne or more per hour.

This paragraph does not include the incineration of non-hazardous waste in an excluded plant. Such plant is covered by Part A (g) for plant with a capacity of one tonne or more per hour.

(d) The incineration of non-hazardous waste in an incineration plant with a capacity of less than 1 tonne per hour.

This paragraph does not include the incineration of non-hazardous waste in an excluded plant. Such plant is covered by Part B (a) for plant with a capacity of less than one tonne (but 50 kilogrammes or more) per hour. There is no lower capacity threshold for this paragraph.

The incineration of non-hazardous waste in an excluded plant with a capacity of less than 50kg per hour is regulated under the waste management licensing regime.

Operators of plants falling within this paragraph should read Section 3.2 below.

(e) Unless carried out as part of any other Part A activity, the incineration of non-hazardous waste in a co-incineration plant.

This paragraph covers co-incineration plants that were part of an activity that, before the regulations, were regulated as a Part B activities under any Section of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the PPC Regulations. There is no lower capacity threshold for this paragraph.

Such co-incinerators now need to be regulated as Part A activities and have, therefore, been brought within Part A of Section 5.1.

Operators of plants falling within this paragraph should read Section 3.2 below.

(f) Unless carried out as part of any other Part A activity, the incineration of hazardous waste in an excluded plant.

If the incineration plant does not burn ONLY waste that causes the plant to be classed as excluded plant then the activity is covered by paragraph Part A (a). There is no lower capacity threshold for this paragraph.

Plants falling under this paragraph are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Waste Incineration Regulations. Such installations must comply with the requirements of the PPC Regulations but are not subject to the requirements set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of this guidance.

An example of a plant that may fall within this paragraph is experimental plant used for research, development and testing in order to improve the incineration process and which treat less than 50 tonnes of waste per year.

(g) Unless carried out as part of any other Part A activity, the incineration of non-hazardous waste in an excluded plant with a capacity of one tonne or more per hour.

If the incineration plant does not burn ONLY waste that causes the plant to be classed as excluded plant then the activity is covered by paragraph Part A (c) for plant with a capacity of one tonne or more per hour.

Plants falling within this paragraph are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Waste Incineration Regulations.

Such installations must comply with the requirements of the PPC Regulations but are not subject to the requirements set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of this guidance.

(h) Unless carried out as part of any other Part A activity, the incineration of animal carcasses in an excluded plant with a capacity of more than 10 tonnes per day (4).

If the incineration plant does not burn ONLY animal carcasses then the plant will be covered by another paragraph under Section 5.1. Please note the 10 tonne threshold that applies to animal carcass incinerators is per day.

Plants falling within this paragraph are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Waste Incineration Regulations.

Such installations must comply with the PPC Regulations but are not subject to the requirements set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of this guidance.

Part B activity

(a) The incineration of non-hazardous waste, other than animal carcasses, in an excluded plant with a capacity of 50 kilogrammes or more per hour but less than 1 tonne per hour (5).

If the incineration plant does not burn ONLY waste that causes the plant to be classed as excluded plant then the activity is covered by paragraph Part A (d) for plant with a capacity of less than one tonne per hour.

If the incineration plant ONLY burns animal carcasses then the activity is covered by paragraph Part B (b) for plant with a capacity of 10 tonnes per day or less (but 50kg or more per hour).

The incineration of non-hazardous waste in an excluded plant with a capacity of less than 50kg per hour is regulated under the waste management licensing regime.

Plants falling within this paragraph are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Waste Incineration Regulations.

Such installations must comply with the requirements of the PPC Regulations but are not subject to the requirements set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of this guidance.

(b) The incineration of animal carcasses in an excluded plant with a capacity of 50 kilogrammes or more per hour but equal to or less than 10 tonnes per day (6).

If the incineration plant does not burn ONLY animal carcasses then the plant will be covered by another paragraph under Section 5.1. Please note the 10 tonne threshold that applies to animal carcass incinerators is per day.

Plants falling within this paragraph are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Waste Incineration Regulations.

Such installations must comply with the PPC Regulations but are not subject to the requirements set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of this guidance.

(c) The cremation of human remains.

Plants falling within this paragraph are not waste incineration installations within the meaning of the Waste Incineration Regulations. Such installations must comply with the requirements of the PPC Regulations but are not subject to the requirements set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of this guidance.

A minor adjustment has also been made by the Regulations to Section 6.8 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the PPC Regulations, to ensure that the incineration of animal carcasses falls within Section 5.1 and not Section 6.8.

3.2 Important Information for Operators of Plants falling within Section 5.1 Part A Paragraphs (d) and (e)

As noted above, most incineration and co-incineration installations have been brought within Part A of Section 5.1 of the PPC regime. However, certain types and sizes of incineration and co-incineration installations will fall outwith the scope of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control ( IPPC) Directive. Specifically, installations falling under paragraphs (d) and (e) of Part A of Section 5.1 fall outwith the scope of IPPC.

The Regulations ensure that those installations that fall within the scope of the Waste Incineration Directive, but not the IPPC Directive, are not required to comply with any more stringent requirements than are imposed by the Waste Incineration Directive. To achieve this, the Regulations disapply certain requirements that flow from the IPPC Directive to installations falling under paragraphs (d) and (e) of Part A of Section 5.1. These plants are not required to undertake a site condition report as part of the application process, nor are they required to apply to surrender the permit after operations have ceased.

Where a plant regulated under paragraph A(d) or (e) changes operations such that it falls within paragraph A(a), (b) or (c) then the operator will be required to submit the information that would have been required if the application had originally been for a process falling with paragraph A(a), (b) or (c).

3.3 When do plants need to comply with the new Regulations?

The date when a plant needs to comply with the Regulations depends on whether the incinerator or co-incinerator is deemed to be new or existing. The meaning of an " existing waste incineration installation" is defined in the Regulations as:

  • For a co-incineration plant, one which-

(i) is in operation before 28th December 2002 following the grant of a relevant approval; or

(ii) is put into operation by 28th December 2004 following the grant of a relevant approval before 28th December 2002 or the grant of a relevant approval, where the application for such an approval was duly made before 28th December 2002.

  • For an incineration plant, one which-

(i) is in operation before 28th December 2002 following the grant of a relevant approval;

(ii) is put into operation by 28th December 2003 following the grant of a relevant approval before 28th December 2002; or

(iii) is put into operation by 28th December 2004 following the grant of a relevant approval, where the application for such an approval was duly made before 28th December 2002.

In this context a "relevant approval" is any of the following-

(a) a permit under the PPC Regulations;

(b) an authorisation under Part I of the EPA;

(c) a waste management licence under Part II of the EPA;

(d) an 'exempt' activity which is-

(i) registered under regulation 18 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 as exempt from the requirement to have a licence; and

(ii) carried out so as to comply with all the conditions detailed in those Regulations appropriate for that exemption.

The diagrams on the following page should help to illustrate whether a plant is new or existing for the purposes of the Regulations and when it needs to comply with the regulations.

Compliance deadlines for incinerators.

Compliance deadlines for incinerators diagram

Compliance deadlines for co-incinerators.

Compliance deadlines for incinerators diagram