Update on Seveso Directive and digestates - February 2015
Previously we updated you that we had feedback that the AD industry was likely to be affected by the Seveso Directive (implemented by the COMAH 2015 Regs in GB).
The HSE confirmed that Seveso is about controlling hazards that have major accident potential, and any substance that falls under the categories and thresholds in Annex 1 bring the site into scope of the arrangements under Seveso.
The work to determine the classification of the digestate has not yet been completed. However, we have had some initial feedback from the R&D work undertaken by the European Biogas Association (EBA) that they have the very first preliminary results on ecotoxicity. Without knowing further details, digestate will definitely NOT be classified under the point H14 of WFD as an eco-toxic substance. Further tests on various species are still on going, but this is a definite result. We will update you when we have further information.
Impact of classification
If the R&D work being carried by EBA deems that digestate is to fall under Seveso, then in theory that applies already. In other words the June 2015 enforcement date given for the new COMAH regs is meaningless because we would already be covered under the existing COMAH regs if digestate is classed as an aquatic pollutant. However for industry like ours where there is currently uncertainty on whether Seveso applies or not, the HSE may be prepared to consider an appropriate transitional period to allow the industry sufficient time for implementation.
HSE is planning to meet and discuss Seveso's application to AD with key government departments at a meeting, with the aim of understanding any interaction/overlap with other regulatory regimes. Following this we will organise a meeting with industry bodies and key operators at the beginning of March to discuss a way forward.
For further information, please contact Kiara (Kiara@r-e-a.net) or Gordon (Gordon@r-e-a.net).
Previous communications on this topic are HERE.
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