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Wood recyclers urged to continue lobbying

Wood recyclers have been urged to continue lobbying their MPs about the latest Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) guidance.

Andy Hill, chair of the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA), said he was “delighted” that 129 people had replied to a recent consultation by the Environment Agency (EA), which closed earlier this month, but urged fellow members to keep up the pressure on decision makers.

Hill said some members “feared for their livelihoods” if the guidance did not change, and the WRA wanted “more flexibility within agreed realms of safety” and increased input from the fire and rescue services.

“One size cannot fit all circumstances, and we are hopeful we will be able to work with the EA on this,” said Hill.

“The WRA is now calling on its members who are worried about the FPP to speak with their local MPs to ensure their concerns and fears are heard at all levels.”

The trade body previously described the proposed guidance as “unreasonable and unnecessary” and having “no scientific backing”.

It said the proposed maximum allowable burn time of three to four hours did not “take into account individual circumstances such as tonnage, material type, weather conditions and the local fire-fighting strategy”.

Fire tests to provide empirical evidence for future storage regulations are running until the end of March. In January the EA denied prematurely implementing the new FPP guidance.

Tyre Recovery Association secretary general Peter Taylor told MRW at the time that the regulations could put some operators out of business.

Hill welcomed the numbers who had responded to the consultation.

“We know there are wood recyclers who genuinely fear for their livelihoods if the current FPP guidance doesn’t change,’ he said.

“These aren’t people trying to operate outside of the law. They are bona fide businesses of all sizes that want to continue running their business but who risk not being able to because of the restrictions placed on them in the FPP guidance.”

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