Medium Combustion Plant that are installed and operated after the 20th December 2018, a deadline fast approaching, will need to comply with emission limits outlined within the Medium Combustion Plant Directive, implemented by the European Union (EU) in 2015 and recently transposed into UK law. Redmore Environmental have provided answers to commonly raised questions in relation to the Medium Combustion Plant Directive in order to assist with the confusing requirements of this new regulation.
What is the Medium Combustion Plant Directive?
The Medium Combustion Plant Directive regulates emissions of harmful pollutants produced as a result of the combustion of fuel in plant of a particular thermal rating. Emission limit values are stated for nitrogen oxides, particulates and sulphur dioxide. These pollutants are considered of most concern due to the adverse health effects that may be experienced as a result of exposure. The Medium Combustion Plant Directive aims to regulate emissions of these pollutants throughout the EU and is relevant to existing plant, in addition to new installations.
Why is the Medium Combustion Plant Directive Needed?
The Medium Combustion Plant Directive fills a significant regulatory gap between large combustion plant, rated with a thermal input greater than 50 megawatts, covered under the Industrial Emissions Directive and smaller appliances, rated with a thermal input less than 1 megawatt, covered by the Eco-design Directive.
Do you have an Existing Medium Combustion Plant or are Proposing to Install one in the Future?
What is an Medium Combustion Plant? If you have an existing facility or propose to install a new plant, then as an operator it would useful to know how a Medium Combustion Plant is defined. This is simply a combustion plant rated with a thermal input equal to or greater than 1 megawatt but less than 50 megawatts, irrespective of fuel type. They are commonly operated in schools, gyms, commercial properties, domestic buildings etc.
It is important to note that the Directive also includes emission limits specifically for engines and gas turbines, which are commonly used within generator sets for electricity production. These are often aggregated in one location and used for power generation in periods of peak demand.
What are the Timescales for Compliance?
Compliance deadlines depend on whether the plant is new or existing. If a plant starts operation after 20th December 2018, then it will need to comply and be permitted as soon as it is installed. However, if a Medium Combustion Plant is in operation prior to this date then, depending on the size and operational parameters, it will need to comply and be permitted by either 1st January 2025 or 1st January 2030.
How can Redmore Environmental Help You?
In order to operate a Medium Combustion Plant in the future, and for any existing plant, an Environmental Permit will be required from the Environment Agency, as well as planning consent for new facilities. Redmore Environmental can assist with all aspects of the permitting and planning process, including the provision of Air Quality Assessments or Dispersion Modelling Assessments to support the application, as well as emissions monitoring following commission.