Environment Agency (EA) Amendments to Land Spreading & Storage Permits
Waste operators, holding the following Standard Rules permits, are likely to be affected by EA amendments published on the 6th January 2017.
- SR 2010 No 4 Mobile Plant for Land Spreading
- SR 2010 No 5 Mobile Plant for Reclamation, Restoration, or Improvement of Land
- SR 2010 No 6 Mobile Plant for Land Spreading of Sewage Sludge
- SR 2010 No 17 Storage of Digestate from Anaerobic Digestion Plants
Those affected will include: composters, anaerobic digestion operators, land managers and farmers on whose land waste is spread. The updates, summarised below, apply to all new applicants, and will apply to existing permit holders from 6th April.
Land Spreading Permits: SR2010 No4, No5, No6
Increased Land area allowance
For single continuously managed areas of agricultural land, SR 2010 No4 & No6 operators can now submit deployment applications for up to 100 hectares of land.
Storage limits, previously set at 3,000 tonnes per permit, are now permitted at 3,000 tonnes per deployment. The updates specify that waste stored in a location at any one time should not exceed 3000 tonnes. Of this, no more than 1250 tonnes shall be ‘non-stackable’, in recognition of differing environmental risks to ‘stackable’ material. The updates state that field heaps must occupy as small a surface area as is practically required to prevent collapse and must also not be sited within 30m of surface water if the land is steeply sloping (>20% or 12 degrees).
High Readily Available Nitrogen Waste
Wastes are considered high in readily available nitrogen when the total nitrogen content exceeds 30%. Examples include poultry manure, sludge, slurries and anaerobic digestate. Under updated permit conditions, such wastes shall not be stored/spread within a ground water Safeguard Zone outside NVZ closed periods and must be covered if situated <200m from a European Site, Ramsar Site or Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI). Application rates should not exceed 50m3/ha and 250 kg total N/ha and there must be a 3-week gap between applications
Updated permits include a clause that spreading shall not occur when:
- The land has been frozen for ≥ 12 hours 12 hours in the preceding 24 hours, or;
- The land is waterlogged, frozen or snow covered.
Notification of spreading: It is now mandatory for all operators to notify the EA 48 hours – 7 days in advance of spreading operations.
Waste Types: The list of acceptable wastes has been refined to include new waste types and add greater clarity and accuracy to existing waste types.
Waste Storage Permit: SR2010 No17
This permit, previously specific to digestate storage, now covers all non-hazardous wastes listed in SR2010 No 4, 5 and 6. The permit conditions have been amended accordingly to consider storage requirements for varying physical states. It specifies that:
- Individual wastes must be stored separately
- Stackable waste must be stored on an impermeable surface with sealed drainage.
- Non-stackable waste must be in a secure container(s) of an appropriate capacity, designed and constructed in accordance with an appropriate specification in CIRIA Report C759.
- To prevent overflow, non-stackable waste must not be stored within 0.3m of the top of an open storage container or within 0.75m of the top of a lagoon.
- If stored 200m from a European Site, Ramsar Site or Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), high readily available nitrogen waste must be covered.
- Waste consisting solely or mainly of dusts, powders or loose fibres must be stored in buildings.