Article Business Practice Contaminated Land

Environmental Permitting regulations

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The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations came into force on the 6th April 2008.  They merge Waste Management Licensing (WML) and Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regimes into a single system focussed on environmental outcomes and customer services.

In combining the regimes, the application forms and guidance have been simplified. The permitting options have also been improved by the introduction of standard permits.

All PCC permits and waste licences have automatically become environmental permits. Permits will not be re-issued and the conditions have not been changed, customers will be notified of this when they receive their subsistence invoice.

For more information, contact the Environment agency and request a copy of their booklet ‘Cutting Red Tape, Environmental Permitting Regulations’

Call: 08708 506 506

Article Contaminated Land

The Landfill Directive – Nightmare or Opportunity

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[These notes were made after attending an EIC Seminar on the Landfill Directive held on 31 March 04. They represent the view of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the AGS.]


The European Landfill Directive (EC 2003/33) is due to be transposed into UK Law by 16 July 04, and be fully effective from 16 July 05. Transition arrangements for waste acceptance criteria will be in place from July 04 to July 05.

Legislative Background

The Landfill Directive sits with the Hazardous Waste Directive and the Waste Framework Directive.

The latter two have been in force for a number of years but will be effected by the Landfill Directive.

An updated European Waste Catalogue (EWC 2002) has now been published and this sets out which materials are (or potentially are) hazardous.

The EWC gives absolute and mirror entries. Absolute are classified as hazardous irrespective of their composition whereas mirror entries need to be checked for contaminants (both type and concentration).

The classification links back to CHIP3 regulations which are published by the HSE.

Waste sent to landfill will now be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous. The use of ‘inert’ seems no longer applicable.

Waste acceptance criteria (WAC) are shortly to be approved by the European Council and these will link into the Landfill Directive. The WAC require leaching tests to be carried out and limit a number of criteria which cannot be exceeded (eg TOC never above 6%). WAC is not due to be introduced until 2005 and interim criteria will be established to fill the gap.

The principle regulations

  • Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999

  • The Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002

  • The Landfill (Scotland) Regulations 2003

  • The Landfill (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004

The Landfill Directive’s Rules

All hazardous waste sent to landfill must be pre-treated from July 04. No definition has been given as to what this means. However some reduction quantity and / or hazardous nature will have to be achieved.

Dilution (eg mixing of non-hazardous with hazardous) will be illegal from July 04.

Co-disposal is illegal from July 04 and sites will only be licensed to receive hazardous or non-hazardous. The most significant issue is that the number of sites licensed to receive hazardous waste will reduce from slightly less that 200 to about 10. Of these none re are located in Wales or the South East of England.


The latest definition of waste within the UK is that waste ‘shall mean any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard’.

The hierarchy of waste treatment is re-use, reclaim, recover and recycle.

A waste remains as waste until complete recovery has taken place or the substance is put to its final use. It does not cease to be waste if someone intends to use it, if it has a value, if it is ready to recycle or if it is not polluting.

Environment Agency guidance indicates that all excavated contaminated land would be classified as waste.

It would appear that even excavated ‘clean’ soil on site may be classified as waste and thus and re-use would fall within the waste management licensing regulations.

What it all means

Despite the assembled hoard of experts at the Seminar, no-one really knew!

Confusion and uncertainty surround the issue, although something must happen in July to avoid serious Government embarrassment.

Some theories were:-

  • Landfill prices for hazardous waste are likely increase fourfold.

  • Haul distances will increase from an average today of 44 miles to 87 in 05.

  • Remediation by ‘dig and dump’ will become non viable in most situations

  • On-site remediation will to have increase dramatically but there is insufficient capacity in the UK to accommodate the probable demand

  • Many brownfield sites are likely to become non viable for development and consequently the Government objective of 60% development on Brownfield sites may be jeopardised.

Article Contaminated Land Laboratories

PPC Site Reports – Change in EA Policy

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The Environment Agency issued a new policy and guidance on protection of land quality and preparation of site reports under the Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) regime in August 2003 ( The aim of the changes is to place more emphasis on pollution prevention measures within the PPC permit rather than site investigation at the time of application. It also hoped that the change will speed up processing of permit applications by the EA.

The site report accompanying the permit application (now referred to as the Application Site Report) should normally comprise the results of a desk study and site reconnaissance only. This is similar to a Phase 1a site report in the EA’s earlier terminology. Completion of intrusive investigations at this stage is NOT required except in special cases, e.g. there is insufficient data on site geology to develop the site conceptual model.

There is also now a requirement for operators to prepare a Site Protection and Monitoring Programme (SPMP) detailing how pollution of land will be prevented during the life of the installation. This has to be submitted to the EA within 2 months of the permit being issued.

Intrusive investigations to obtain ‘reference data’ (i.e. a Phase 1b or 2 assessment) are only required for zones of the site where there is ‘a reasonable possibility of future pollution of the land’ from installation activities. The guidance states that such investigations will always be required for sites with bulk storage of liquid chemicals, inadequate preventative measures or a history of pollution incidents unless it can be shown that there is little likelihood of future pollution occurring. The investigations will form part of the SPMP and where required have to be submitted to the EA within 6 months of the permit being issued.

The EA has also issued templates for the Application Site Report, design and reporting of a Site Protection & Monitoring Programme.

These changes apply to all sites in England and Wales where PPC permits have yet to be issued. Policy and guidance in Scotland and Northern Ireland currently remain unchanged. There are clearly implications for AGS members to ensure that appropriate advice is being provided to site operators applying for permits and that the most up-to-date guidance is being used.


Technical Guidance Note by IPPC H7
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Guidance on the Protection of Land under the PPC Regime: Application Site Report and Site Protection and Monitoring Programme
H7 Reporting Template 1 – Template for an Application Site Report in PPC Applications
H7 Reporting Template 2 – Design of a Site Protection and Monitoring Programme for Installations Requiring Reference Data to be Collected
H7 Reporting Template 3 – Design of a Site Protection and Monitoring Programme for Installations that DO NOT Require Reference Data to be Collected
H7 Reporting Template 4 – First Phase Reporting of the Site Protection and Monitoring Programme for Installations where Reference Data is Required
H7 Reporting Template 5 – First Phase Reporting of the Site Protection and Monitoring Programme for Installations where Reference Data is NOT Required

These can all be downloaded at