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Biomass boiler permitting guide

Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010

The relevant legislation for the burning of waste wood in a biomass boiler is The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. This replaces the former Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) and Waste Management Licensing Regulations (WML).

The Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) enact the EUs “The Waste Framework Directive” and the “The Industrial Emissions Directive” (IED). The IED is a recast of “The Waste Incineration Directive” (WID), “The IPPC Directive” (IPPC) and “The Large Combustion Plant Directive” (LCPD).

Waste Exemption

Permit Exemption is available for small appliances burning lass than 50kg/hr (0.4MW) where less than 5 tonnes of fuel are stored on site and where the operator is burning its own waste. EPR Schedule 3, Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 2 Burning of waste as a fuel in a small appliance (U4).

Part B Permit

A permit for activities listed in Schedule 1 Part B of the EPA can be obtained from the Local Authority (LA) with a 3MWth thermal output limit and where the fuel material is excluded from Chapter IV.


A small waste incineration plant (SWIP) permit for activities listed under Schedule 13A of the Industrial Emissions Directive (Chapter IV) can be obtained from the Local Authority with a 3MWth thermal output limit.

Part A Permit

A permit for activities listed in Part A of the Industrial Emissions Directive (Chapter IV) can be obtained from the Environment Agency where the thermal output is >3MWth.

What are Chapter IV Wastes?

Certain waste is excluded from chapter 4 by article 42(2) of the Industrial Emissions Directive. Excluded wastes are:

  • radioactive waste
  • animal carcasses not for human consumption
  • waste from oil and gas exploration on off-shore installations that are incinerated on board the installations

Exclusions from chapter 4 also apply when treating the following types of biomass:

  • vegetable waste from agriculture and forestry
  • vegetable waste from the food processing industry, if the heat generated is recovered
  • fibrous vegetable waste from virgin pulp production and from paper production from pulp, if it’s co-incinerated at the place of production and the generated heat is recovered
  • cork waste
  • untreated sawdust, wood shavings or wood offcuts
  • wood, particle board and facings – as long as they don’t contain halogenated organic compounds or heavy metals from wood-preservative treatment or coating

The flow chart below, as provided by the Environment Agency, provides a summary of the Permitting requirements.

WRM employees are experienced in permitting waste wood fed biomass installations. If you would like to discuss how we can help you obtain the relevant consents, please contact Thomas Broderick to arrange an initial site meeting.

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