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EA looks to further consultation on IBA protocols

The Environment Agency (EA) has promised to consult further on environmental permitting for incinerator bottom ash (IBA).

Following consultation on changes to The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, which ended on 5 March, the EA said that some respondents complained they favoured IBA over pulverised fuel ash (PFA).

They said that the proposed permit for IBA (SR2012 No13) allows for the treatment of over 75 tonnes per day, whereas PFA is only acceptable for treatment under the SR2010 No12 permit or a bespoke permit which is subject to tonnage restrictions.

It was argued that the inclusion of this new limit on the daily capacity under SR2010 No12 would place those sites at an unfair commercial disadvantage compared to sites treating IBA under SR2012 No13.

The EA said the perceived bias resulted from its historic position on IBA rather than the new proposals but it was prepared to undertake further consultation “if the industry believes that the point is important.”.

One respondent called for an increase in the annual limit on IBA treatment capacity from the current 75,000 tonnes per annum to 200,000 tonnes.

They argued: “The environmental risks presented by the higher treatment capacity were not significantly greater than the risks presented by the lower treatment capacity.”

The EA said it was prepared to work with industry to review the evidence in support of a revision of the capacity limit and that it could be the subject of a future consultation.

  • In April, Rick Hindley of Alupro said that changes to the IBA protocol were partly responsible for the recent poor aluminium recycling figures.

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