EA releases Standard Rules Consultation No. 14 on Landspreading

Following pre-consultation discussions with ORG, the EA has released a consultation (No. 14) on Standard Rules 2010 No. 4, 5, 6 and 17, which covers digestate storage and landspreading of non PAS compost and digestate. 

Earlier this year we held a meeting to discuss Biowaste Use with the industry, EA and Defra. Following this, ORG participated in a working group to give stakeholders opportunity to shape the consultation. We circulated a pre-consultation discussion document to members (this was a closed consultation for member's only, for copies of this, please contact Jenny). Members' responses were collated and communicated to the EA. 

We have put together a summary of the proposed changes and some initial thoughts. We welcome your views on the questions in this document, along with any other comments you may have.

Consultation overview
Standard rules allow a range of wastes to be used in construction and land reclamation activities. The EA have identified a risk to groundwater from some of these waste types in some locations. They are proposing the withdrawal of these existing standard rules and replacing them with a single set of rules which will be more restrictive as to the type of waste permissible and location at which they can be stored and used. The changes they have proposed will better protect groundwater quality.
The EA is proposing the revision of standard rules covering land spreading and digestate storage. Aiming for better environmental protection, the changes would introduce restrictions affecting land spreading and storage activities. The proposals include giving operators greater flexibility in the size of area and choice of acceptable wastes they can spread. The EA also aim to improve clarity and consistency by making minor changes to definitions and wording.
The EA is proposing three major changes to 13 standard rules permits covering soils recycling activities. The changes are:
•    Additional advisory text on the need to meet end of waste status for recovered materials
•    The modification of waste acceptance procedures for soils from known or suspected contaminated sites
•    The clarification of authorised treatment activities for mobile plant permits for the treatment of soils, materials and products to allow simple segregation and sorting activities as a standalone as well as associated recovery activity.

Full details of the consultation are HERE

Specific proposals to amend the standard rules include:
1. Changes to the provisions for temporary storage of waste prior to spreading
2. Enable operators to request deployments for areas greater than 50 hectares
3. Prohibit spreading in Groundwater Safeguard Zones for nitrate
4. Add restrictions on spreading in adverse conditions
5. Update the list of acceptable wastes and add a number of new wastes
6. Require pre-notification of the intention to commence spreading
7. Minor amendments to existing definitions and wording to provide greater clarity
and consistency 

Responding to the consultation
The deadline for responding directly to the EA is 20th March 2015.

REA will be responding on behalf of our members. We are planning to hold two workshops for members to attend and discuss the proposed changes, and help inform our response. These will be held in late Feb or early March (dates to be advised asap). You can provide comments directly to Jeremy by 6th March 2015 and we will circulate the draft REA response for your final comments by 13th March.

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