EA publishes consultation on new Standard Rules permits for Exempt activities


At the beginning of 2018, the Government published a Waste Crime consultation with proposals for extensive changes to the Exemptions regime. Whilst respondee responses were published in December, we have yet to see the government's response and final proposals. Our current understanding is that these are unlikely to be published before the end of the year. However, the EA has just published a consultation on three new Standard Rules Permits for what are currently Exempt activities:

  • T8: mechanically treating end-of-life tyres
  • T12: manually treating waste (mattress recycling)
  • T4: preparatory treatments, such as baling, sorting, shredding (paper and cardboard baling).

The consultation also includes changes to SR2008 nos 12, 13 and 18 .

The new Standard Rules permits indicate that anyone currently operating under the three exemptions is unlikely to be able to continue, certainly not without drastic reductions in tonnage throughput. For instance, many paper merchants and distribution centres currently operate under the T4 exemption which allows the baling of up to 150,000 tonnes per year of paper or plastic. The original consultation suggested this would be reduced to 300 tonnes per year. 

Having to operate under a Permit will not only mean the need to comply with the competence requirements, drainage, impermeable surface etc, but sites will have to produce a compliant fire prevention plan which many will find extremely expensive to achieve.

At this stage, it is not known when the new permit requirements will be applied and it is assumed this is just preparatory work so that when the decision is finally published on the Exemption changes, the EA can act quickly.