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Feature: Hazardous waste - a guiding hand

Guidance designed to help anyone involved in the storage, treatment or disposal of waste to meet new legislation has been issued by the Environment Agency (EA).
The guidance, which has been produced in consultation with the waste industry, sets out what waste management facilities will need to do to meet the requirements of the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regulations which cover some aspects of the waste storage and treatment industries.
PCC regulations apply to the regulation of landfill sites and a wide range of industrial processes including the energy, chemical and metal sectors. The regulations are designed to prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution by requiring good practice and efficient use of natural resources.
Although the PPC regulations have been in place since 2000 the regulatory timetable has meant that most waste operators have not yet had to apply for a PPC permit.
Liz Parkes, head of waste regulation at the EA, says: "The waste industry should know these changes are coming and that, if they haven't already, they will need to apply for PPC permit in the very near future. These guidelines will help anyone involved in the treatment, storage and disposal of waste understand what standards they will need to meet to get a PPC permit."
In England and Wales, applications from the different sectors of the storage and treatment industry for PPC permits are made in stages between January 2005 and 2007.
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) is a regulatory system that uses an integrated approach to control the environmental impacts of certain industrial activities. To gain a permit operators need to show that they have systematically developed proposals to apply the Best Available Techniques (BAT) and meet certain other requirements, taking account of relevant local factors.
Guidance for the Recovery and Disposal of Hazardous and Non Hazardous Waste aims to: provide a clear structure and methodology for operators to follow to ensure they address all aspects of the PPC Regulations and other regulations; minimise the effort by both operator and regulator in the permitting of an installation by expressing the BAT techniques as clear indicative standards; improve the consistency of applications by ensuring that all relevant issues are addressed and finally to increase the transparency and consistency of regulation by having a structure in which the operator's response to each issue, and any departures from the standards, can be seen clearly and which enables applications to be compared.

Guidance for the Recovery and Disposal of Hazardous and Non Hazardous Waste is available on the EA website visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk for more information.

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