Incinerators

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th May 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, pursuant to his Answer of 19 April 2018 to Question 135379 on incinerators, for what reason the revised permit issued to Veolia Ltd included the condition that company submit a proposal to the Agency to (a) carry out tests and (b) produce reports on the size distribution of the particulate matter in the exhaust gas emissions to air from emission point A1 identifying the fractions within the PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 ranges if there is no commercially available equipment for the continuous monitoring of PM 10 and PM 2.5.

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 publish the results of the monitoring of (a) PM10, (b) PM2.5 and (c) PM1 undertaken by Veolia Ltd in its revised permit dated November 2007.

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

Tests to determine the size distribution of the particulate matter in exhaust gas are done by discontinuous (one-off) monitoring using equipment brought to the site especially for the test, rather than using the permanently installed continuous monitors which measure total particulate matter (TPM).

Reports of testing to determine the size distribution of particulates in exhaust gases are placed on the public register for all incinerators, which is available online here:

https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/index

Despite the requirement for this one-off monitoring there is currently no accurate method by which the exact amount of PM2.5, PM1 or PM0.1 emitted from incinerators can be determined. This is because TPM emissions (which include all particle sizes including PM2.5, PM1 or PM0.1) from modern incinerators are so low that quantifying the amount of the smaller particles with any level of accuracy is not possible using currently available technology. For this reason the Environment Agency (EA) is considering removing the requirement for new incinerators to determine particulate size distribution in the future.

The EA is satisfied that the TPM emission limit included in all incinerator permits is adequate to ensure that no significant impacts on the environment or human health will be caused by their particulate emissions.

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