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Waste Planning Magazine – Issue 88 (August 2011 Edition)

Clare Taylor, Principal Planning Consultant at Environmental Compliance Ltd, has written an article following on from the fourth Wales Planning Conference.

The article details how the Wales’ new Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, John Griffiths, proposes to move away from the control of development towards a presumption of sustainable development.

It also references waste planners in Wales concerns about the lack of up to date waste data.

For further information and to read the article in full, please refer to Issue 88 of the Waste Planning Magazine.

EA calls for big business to follow its lead

The Environment Agency has announced that it has cut its CO2 emissions by almost a fifth since 2006/07. It has now urged other large organisations to improve their environmental reporting and performance.
The organisation measures its environmental performance in five key areas, with ambitious 2015 targets set for each. New figures from the Environment Agency’s first internal environment management update show that the 2006-2011 performance on each is:
• Office waste – reduced by 18%, 66% less to landfill.
• Mileage – reduced by 33%, 19 million fewer miles per year.
• Carbon dioxide – a 17% reduction in emissions.
• Buildings’ energy – a 15% reduction in use.
• Mains water – an 18% reduction.
Organisation estimates reveal that the programme has already reduced its costs by more than £6m a year.
According to the Environment Agency, the majority of Britain’s biggest publicly listed businesses are now disclosing some information about their environmental performance on an annual basis. However, a recent Environment Agency study of more than 500 FTSE All-share companies showed that not enough companies are providing environmental statistics in line with Government guidance and that the quality of information is still very varied and in some cases basic. The Agency urged companies to go further on environmental reporting following publication of the report.
Environment Agency Chief Executive, Dr Paul Leinster, said:
“Big organisations often have a big environmental footprint. Transport, energy and waste all contribute and need to be managed, measured and reduced. Those that do so effectively will reduce costs and improve their reputation.
“In the future, we’ll see higher energy prices, more carbon reporting and greater competition for resources. Good environmental management helps address each and also helps to reduce our running costs. Our own experience shows that focusing on a few important measures, embedding them into every team and reporting to the Board each year are key to success.”
The Environment Agency’s internal environment management update shows the ways in which its own reductions have been made. These include cleaner vehicles, water-saving technology, more sustainable travel choices, improved recycling facilities and awareness-raising amongst staff.
Various other technologies have been introduced across the Environment Agency to reduce energy, such as voltage optimisation and Automatic Meter Reading.
The Environment Agency has its own target to reduce CO2 emissions by 33% by 2015 from 2006/07 levels

World’s largest solar farm switches from thermal to PV

The company behind plans to build the world’s largest solar farm has revealed that it is to switch to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in what could mark a significant shift in the balance of power between competing PV and solar thermal technologies.
Germany-based Solar Millennium AG said in a statement released last week that it has changed its plans for the proposed 1GW Blythe solar farm in California, and will install the first 500MW of the facility using PV panels.
The firm added that it will make a decision on the technology that will be used in the second phase of the project at a later date.
“Solar Millennium responds quickly and pragmatically to market conditions and, at the moment, the California market favors PV technology,” said chief executive Christoph Wolff.
“We are taking decisive steps in the US to maximise site value for our company and our shareholders.”
However, Wolff insisted that Solar Millennium will continue to proceed with solar thermal technologies in other parts of the world.
“Our long-term strategy remains unchanged. We see solid demand for concentrated solar power [CSP] in the world’s growth markets such as Africa, the Middle East, India and China,” he said.
“This is also true for southern Europe where we have just achieved financial close on our fourth CSP plant in Spain.”
Solar Millennium said that it is in talks with prospective solar PV panel suppliers, but did not name any of the companies being considered.
The move is part of a growing trend of planned projects with close to 2GW of capacity switching from solar thermal to PV systems in response to the falling price of PV panels.

RIDDOR reporting period extension gets the green light

The reporting period for injuries sustained at work is to be extended from three to seven days, following analysis of responses to the consultation on RIDDOR carried out earlier this year.

At a meeting of the Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’) Board this week (17 August), it was decided to recommend to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, that the proposed change to reg.3(2) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 be carried into effect. The decision was based on 776 finalised responses to the consultation – held between February and May this year – among which there was a two-to-one majority in favour of the change.

According to figures released by the HSE, a majority of respondents felt the change would not have an adverse consequence on national statistics. Other positive key themes identified from the consultation were that admin burdens will be reduced; aligning the reporting period with that required under the new fit-note system will make sickness absence easier to manage; and the extended period will allow more time for employers to investigate the incident internally.

Concerns highlighted by those against the change included the likelihood of a negative impact on the health and safety culture of organisations, leading to a lowering of standards; less opportunity for duty-holders and regulators to spot trends and incidents that could have resulted in more serious injuries; and overall less compliance with RIDDOR – under which around half of all non-fatal workplace injuries currently go unreported.

Around 8 per cent of respondents felt the change would have no advantage for either their organisation, or the national health and safety system. A number of others, including IOSH, the CBI and trades unions, while supporting the change, called for a fuller review of the Regulations. Head of policy and public affairs at IOSH, Richard Jones, said: “In our own survey on RIDDOR, members were two-to-one in favour of the change, but a significant number had concerns that this would lead to ‘over three-day’ accidents being trivialised. We also believe a wider review of RIDDOR is needed.”
To this end, the HSE has signalled its intention to look at wider issues surrounding RIDDOR 12 months after the current amendment comes into effect, which is likely to be from 6 April next year.

Disclaimer: This article is designed to keep readers abreast of current developments. It is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of law and specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstance. Therefore, Environmental Compliance Ltd is unable to accept liability for any errors or facts or opinion contained within. For advice and further information please contact us on
enquiries@envirocompli.com or your local HSE Office www.hse.gov.uk

HSE to focus on CDM Regulations 2007 & safety record of smaller contractors

As part of the Health & Safety Executives (‘HSE’) evaluation of the effectiveness of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, the HSE is putting the health and safety record of clients and smaller contractors under the microscope.

The HSE has given tier one contractors (‘Principal Contractors’) a clean bill of health for the positive changes they have made in recent years to improve the safety of their sites and the employees who work on them. However, clients and smaller firms are now coming under scrutiny from the safety watchdog as part of a review of the CDM Regulations.

CDM 2007 Requirements Overview
CDM 2007 places legal duties on virtually everyone involved in construction work. Those with legal duties are commonly known as ‘dutyholders’.
Dutyholders under CDM 2007 are (in accordance with current HSE advice):

Clients – A ‘client’ is anyone having construction or building work carried out as part of their business. This could be an individual, partnership or company and includes property developers or management companies for domestic properties

CDM co-ordinators – A ‘CDM co-ordinator’ has to be appointed to advise the client on projects that last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. The CDM co-ordinator’s role is to advise the client on health and safety issues during the design and planning phases of construction work.

Designers – The term ‘designer’ has a broad meaning and relates to the function performed, rather than the profession or job title. Designers are those who, as part of their work, prepare design drawings, specifications, bills of quantities and the specification of articles and substances. This could include architects, engineers and quantity surveyors.

Principal contractors – A ‘principal contractor’ has to be appointed for projects which last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. The principal contractor’s role is to plan, manage and co-ordinate health and safety while construction work is being undertaken. The principal contractor is usually the main or managing contractor for the work.

Contractors – A ‘contractor’ is a business who is involved in construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition work. This could involve building, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, demolition and maintenance companies, partnerships and the self-employed.

Workers - A ‘worker’ is anyone who carries out work during the construction, alteration, maintenance or demoliton of a building or structure. A worker could be, for example, a plumber, electrician, scaffolder, painter, decorator, steel erector, as well as those supervising the work, such as foreman and chargehands

Will there be future changes to the Regulations?
Anthony Lees, Head of the HSE Construction Policy Unit, said in May that he does not expect to see “significant changes” to the existing CDM regime but said it was clear that some construction firms were still not complying with the law. Despite major improvements made to safety over the last decade, the HSE is now aware that on-site monitoring must be ramped up to prevent continuing health and safety abuses.
The HSE is delighted that the industry’s safety record has changed for the better. However, whereas a decade ago 30% of deaths on site could be traced back to employers of less than ten people, that figure rose to 65% last year. As a result, the supervisory body will be scrutinising the health and safety policies of clients and subcontractors to determine where and why unsafe practices are being adopted.

New Planning Regulations

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 revoke Part II of the 1999 Regulations, changing the definition of “application for multi-stage consent” ; introducing a requirement for the reasons for negative screening decisions to be provided in writing when requested ; and clarifying the circumstances when a Scottish minister is required to make a screening direction.

The Regulations are also amended to include sites and installations that may store and capture carbon emissions (required by the Directive on the geological storage of CO2 (2009/31/EC)).

For further information, please click on the following link : www.lexisurl.com/iema8261

New Energy Regulations

The Electricity (Individual Generation Exemptions) Order 2011 exempts three companies (three generating stations) from the requirements of s.4(1)(a) of the Electricity Act 1989 (which prohibits the generation of electricity for supply without a licence.) The companies and power stations are : Devon Wind Power Ltd (Fullabrook Wind Farm in Devon), Riverside Resource Recovery Ltd (Riverside resource recovery energy-from-waste facility in Bexley) and Teeside Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (Teeside Offshore Wind Farm).

Further information can be obtained by clicking on the following link : www.lexisurl.com/iema6983

Environment Agency issues Draft Guidance on the treatment of waste by thermal desorption

The draft guidance document is applicable to installations and mobile plant that undertake thermal desorption as a Part A (1) activity listed in Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations (England & Wales) 2010.

The aim of the guidance will be to set out the additional indicative Best Available Techniques (BAT) requirements that Environment Agency expect regulated facilities to meet for these activities as an addendum to existing Sector Guidance Note S5.06

Please use the link above to view the consultation documents and to leave any comments for the Environment Agency as part of the consultation process which is due to end 1st November 2011.

Recycling & Waste Management Exhibition (RWM) 13th – 15th September 2011

Environmental Compliance Ltd are pleased to announce that they will be exhibiting at this years Recycling and Waste Management Exhibition (RWM) taking place in Birmingham’s NEC from 13th – 15th September (STAND 2618). The RWM, which is conducted in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) of which Environmental Compliance are an affiliated organisation, is regarded as the UK’s largest sustainable waste, resource and environment exhibition. The exhibition will feature some 650 exhibitors, including consultants from Environmental Compliance who will be on hand to provide information on :

• Planning Application Services;
• Permit Applications (EPR);
• Environmental Management Systems;
• Environmental Impact Assessments;
• Environmental Project Management;
• Due Diligence Audits;
• Air Quality (Ambient and Industrial Air Emissions, including dispersion modelling);
• Environmental Noise Monitoring and Modelling Services;
• Occupational Hygiene (Noise, Personal Exposure, LEV Testing and Inspection, Vibration);
• Health & Safety.

If you would like a meeting to be arranged while at the exhibition to discuss any of the services on offer, please contact us on enquiries@envirocompli.com and we will ensure that an appropriate consultant is on hand to answer any of your queries.

We look forward to meeting you there.

For free entry to this exhibition, please follow this link www.rwmexhibition.com/pr

Energy is the lifeblood of a modern economy

The cost of energy can account for up to 50% of an industry’s production costs in the UK.

The increasing volatile energy market caused by the need to source supplies of fossil fuel from politically unpredictable countries, an aging energy infrastructures and the increasing demand for energy from the fast growing economies such as India and China, prompt many uncertainties about the long term security of UK energy supplies and their future costs.

When the need to meet climate change targets is as added into to the mix it becomes immediately apparent that the availability of secure, reliable and environmentally sustainable energy supplies at reasonable costs should be at the top of the industrial agenda.

Companies working in energy intensive industries and therefore most exposed to energy price fluctuations are increasingly looking at what alternative long term, reliable energy supplies are available to them which will reduce their future energy costs and carbon emissions.

There are many proven low carbon alternatives to the use of fossil fuel which can result in reduced energy costs and ensure a reliable source of energy, these options range from the installation of solar PV arrays and wind turbines to the use of biomass and energy from waste to produce heat and electricity.

A recent CBI Brief ‘Going to waste: making the case for energy from waste’ (October 2010) confirmed that many manufactures in the UK are looking to recover energy from waste as a solution to reducing their energy costs. The article references a number of case studies where companies will be able to substantially reduce their energy costs by constructing energy from waste facilities; one of these is Brunner Mond, who has calculated that energy costs will account for 40% of its cost base by 2015. If the company were to construct a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant using waste derived fuel to supply steam and electricity to its site in Cheshire, it has estimated that energy costs would only account for 25% of total costs. In addition Brunner Mond would no longer be dependent on importing gas and therefore managing price volatility would no longer be a major issue, thus ensuring the company remains competitive in a globalised economy.
If your company is looking to reduce its energy costs and secure a long term sustainable energy supply, please talk to us, Environmental Compliance Ltd (ECL) as we can:

• help you to select the best technology to suit your energy requirements; and
• prepare any planning and permitting applications your selected technology may require.

If the above article is of interest please call 01443 841760 and ask to speak to one of our planning and permitting consultants. Alternatively you can contact us via email enquiries@envirocompli.com and one of our consultants will be in contact to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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