Incinerators

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 19th April 2018.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will require operators of waste incineration sites to monitor emissions of particulate matters of less than 2.5.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Waste incineration sites are required to continuously monitor emissions of total particulate matter (TPM) in line with the requirements of the European Industrial Emissions Directive. TPM includes PMs of less than 2.5 (PM2.5) as well as other sizes. Therefore there is no need to monitor specifically for PM2.5. Furthermore there is no commercially available equipment for the continuous monitoring of PM2.5.

This approach is further supported by the fact that applicants for new incinerators are required to model PM2.5 emissions to air by assuming a worst-case scenario that all of the TPM emitted is PM2.5. This is a very precautionary approach as in practice TPM will be a mixture of sizes, and so the true impact will be less.

The Environment Agency will only issue a permit for an incinerator if it is satisfied that emissions of particulate matter will not have a significant impact on the environment under the worst-case scenario.

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