Environmental Protection Act (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations (as amended)

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Environmental Protection Act (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations (as amended)

Category: England, Wales and Scotland Regulations

Date: 1991 (amended 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998)

Reference: SI 1991/472 [Full text] (1992/614 [Full text], 1993/1749 [Full text], 1993/2405 [Full text], 1994/1271 [Full text], 1994/1329 [Full text], 1995/3247 [Full text], 1996/2678 [Full text], 1998/767 [Full text])

General Description:

These regulations set out to implement part I of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act. The operation and production of the more harmful polluting processes and substances requires approval via a system of authorisations. With respect to agriculture, the following require authorisation from the local authority:

  • Waste Oil Burners
  • Straw or Poultry Litter Combustion Processes (0.4-3 megawatt net rated thermal output)
  • Animal Carcass Incineration (less than 1 tonne/hour)
  • Treatment and processing of animal or vegetable matter including fur breeding, animal feed composting, composting and production of compost for mushrooms.

The regulations cite a number of potentially harmful substances, known as 'prescribed substances', whose release into air, water and land are strictly controlled. These are listed:-

Release into the air

  • Oxides of sulphur and other sulphur compounds;
  • Oxides of nitrogen and other nitrogen compounds;
  • Oxides of carbon;
  • Organic compounds and partial oxidation products;
  • Metals, metalloids and their compounds;
  • Asbestos (suspended particulate matter and fibres), glass fibres and mineral fibres;
  • Halogens and their compounds;
  • Phosphorus and its compounds; and
  • Particulate matter.

Release into water

  • Mercury and its compounds;
  • Cadmium and its compounds;
  • All isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane;
  • All isomers of DDT;
  • Pentachlorophenol and its compound;
  • Hexachlorobenzene;
  • Hexachlorobutadiene;
  • Aldrin;
  • Dieldrin;
  • Endrin;
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls;
  • Dichlorvos;
  • 1,2- dichloroethane;
  • All isomers of trichlorobenzene;
  • Atrazine;
  • Simazine;
  • Tributylin compounds;
  • Triphenyltin compounds;
  • Fenitrothion;
  • Azinphos-methyl;
  • Malathion; and
  • Endosulfan.

Release into land

  • Organic solvents;
  • Azides;
  • Halogens and their covalent compounds;
  • Metal carbonyls;
  • Organo-metallic compounds;
  • Oxidising agents;
  • Polychlorinated dibenzofuran and any congener thereof;
  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and any congener thereof;
  • Polyhalogenated biphenyls, terphenyls and napthalenes;
  • Phosphorus; and
  • Pesticides.

Applications for authorisation must be made in writing and must contain:

  • Details of the applicant;
  • Address and location information of the process or release;
  • Full and comprehensive details of the process and/or release of the prescribed substance(s).

The various amendments to the regulations alter the basic list.. Further advice can be obtained from the relevant authorising body.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Agricultural Pollution, Pollution Control

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