An industry reliant on recycled fuels has attacked the Government for introducing legislation that will damage the environment.
The production of asphalt, essential for Britain's roads, uses reprocessed fuel oils (RFO) as an environmentally-friendly substitute for virgin gas oil.
The UK asphalt industry has expressed fears of widespread environmental pollution if recent rulings by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) concerning the use of RFO go unchallenged.
DEFRA has included the burning of RFO in its Waste Incineration Directive, meaning that operators utilising RFO must now apply for Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Permits.
The Quarry Products Association (QPA), which represents asphalt producers, has said that this would be a major burden on operators and make it uneconomic to use RFO.
QPA chief executive Simon van der Byl said: "There is no sense in DEFRA creating risks for the environment when the best practicable environmental option is already in use. There is an urgent need for DEFRA to review its seriously flawed policy in order to prevent the real possibility of major increases in illegal dumping of oil in huge quantities"