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EA publishes summary of consultation responses and its decisions regarding Standard Rules Consultation No.14


This consultation closed on 20th March 2015 and focussed on standard rules and generic risk assessments for 'landspreading and digestate storage', 'deposit for recovery', and 'soil transfer, treatment and recovery'.

On 4th November 2015 the Environment Agency published its summary of consultation responses and decisions.  It's document summarises:

  • responses to the consultation questions
  • the EA's responses
  • decisions the EA has made
  • actions the EA will take as a consequence.

In summary,  the key changes proposed and the EA's responses are:
  • Need for Business Engagement Assessment due to significant financial impact. EA to conduct a Business Engagement Assessment
  • Storage duration proposal for reduction from 12 to 6 months- Rejected
  • Allowing storage limits to apply to each deployment rather than each permit-Yes
  • Storage limit of 3000t, but non stackable wastes to 1250t-Yes
  • In sensitive locations high RAN wastes to be covered ref NH3 emissions (NVZ regs)-Yes
  • Secure storage of wastes only on area of land where spreading to occur-Yes
  • Spreading in adverse conditions: Accepted, no issue here
  • Deployment area: For single waste streams and single crop on continuous parcel of land lift to 100 ha deployments- Limited value to industry
  • Groundwater safeguard Zones: No outright ban but max application rates and no-spread periods to apply
  • Pre-notification: By e-mail or phone if ‘intention’ to spread 48 hrs prior to spreading no more than 7 days in advance
  • Expand list of wastes for the SR2010 #17: Now to include all non-haz wastes listed in SR2010 #4,5 &6
  • Standards for design, construction and operation for storage of digestate: CIRIA required BUT if you do not meet this standard then you can apply for bespoke permit but need to demonstrate efficacy of alternative standard proposed
  • Transitional period: Three months

The EA's document states that: 

'Responses from this consultation will be used to inform new and amended standard rules and the generic risk assessments [upon which the standard rules are based].  

New and amended standard rules which bring into effect the decisions on Deposit for Recovery and Soil transfer, treatment and recovery activities will be published on the Gov.uk website before the end of 2015.


The BEA for landspreading will be published before end 2015 and following this, changes to permits will be published in early 2016.' 


We also note that the EA document's Next Steps section says: 'Individuals who wish to follow up their responses, or points made within this document, in more detail are welcome to contact us: Environment Agency, Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AH. email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk'  There appears to be further opportunity to lobby the EA and if any REA member wishes to contact Jeremy (jeremy@r-e-a.net) about any of the EA's decisions, please do so asap.


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Original Consultation


This consultation has closed. Please see the REA response HERE. Thank you to all those who contributed and commented. 


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.


Details of the consultation

The Environment Agency are asking for your views on their proposal for new and revised rule sets and risk assessments as summarised below:


1. 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 adopted. The changes they are proposing will better protect groundwater quality.

2. The EA are also are also proposing the revision of standard rules covering land spreading and digestate storage. The changes introduce restrictions affecting land spreading and storage activities which will give better environmental protection. There are also new provisions giving operators greater flexibility in the size of area and choice of acceptable wastes they can spread. They are further taking this opportunity to make minor changes to definitions and wording to improve clarity and consistency.

3. The EA  are also proposing three major changes to 13 standard rules permits covering soils recycling activities. The changes are:

i) Additional advisory text on the need to meet end of waste status for recovered materials

ii) The modification of waste acceptance procedures for soils from known or suspected contaminated sites

iii) 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.


Further information on the Landspreading and Digestate storage can be found HERE  this includes the relevant information on Standard Rule and associated generic risk assessments.

Further information on Soil transfer treatment and recovery can be found HERE


Responding to the consultation

The deadline for responding directly to the EA was 20th March 2015 - It is now closed..

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 February (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.


 Should you have any questions on this consultation, please contact jeremy@r-e-a.net

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