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Fire guidance set for July publication

Handbook fire

The Environment Agency’s (EA) guidance for fire prevention plans (FPPs) will be published next month.

A consultation on the proposed new regulations, which included the scale of combustible waste piles and their separation distances, closed in March.

Fire tests to provide empirical evidence for future storage regulations ran alongside this.

The EA said in a recent letter  it had postponed publication of its guidance because it was undertaking an economic impact analysis of the potential changes.

Now it has said in an email to stakeholders that there had been some delays caused by the EU referendum and resourcing within the publications team.

“The updated guidance is currently being reviewed by independent fire experts at BRE Global. Once it has reviewed and approved by Defra, it will be published on GOV.UK along with the consultation response,” it said.

”Publication of the guidance is now on track to be published in July post the EU referendum.”

Meanwhile, the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) has held meetings with the EA and resources minister Rory Stewart about the plans.

Many wood recyclers felt the EA’s proposed FPP guidance, launched last year, was not practicable for their businesses. WRA chair Andy Hill said in March he was “delighted” that 129 people had replied to the consultation.

Figures from the Chief Fire Officers Association show that the overall trend of waste fires during the past 10 years has remained consistent at around 250 incidents a year, and the overall cost to fire and rescue services is estimated to be around £16m a year.

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