Defra has announced changes meaning all Small Waste Oil Burners (SWOBs) will be classified as incinerators from April next year. They have released a consultation in which they are asking whether the guidance on the changes provides clarity; and asks how the changes will affect those who currently use SWOBs.
The changes will mean that anyone wishing to use Small Waste Oil Burners will have to comply with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) which includes requirements to gain a permit from the Environment Agency. The permit includes stipulations such as creating an environment management system, reducing emissions below emission limit values and monitoring emissions from the burner.
What options are available to users of Small Waste Oil Burners with the changes?
The requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive are very onerous and resultantly it is the government’s aim that the changes will incentivise users of SWOBs to find other outputs for the oil, including sending the waste oil to recycling facilities.
The Government also hopes that alternative space-heating appliances (e.g. gas boilers) will be used. Non-waste fuels such as gas or fuel oil can still be used.
The change comes after the EU commission raised concerns that the low risk status of small waste oil burners in England and Wales was jeopardising local air quality. The use of SWOBs is already banned in Scotland, Northern Ireland and all other EU member states. As a result the consultation is not asking whether the changes should go through or not.
Initially the NFU believe the changes in the rules have been laid out clearly, however more information should be provided on other ways waste fuel can be recovered or disposed of. In particular the NFU believes the new rules could be costly for owners of waste fuel in rural areas where recycling or collection facilities do not exist. The NFU would also like to gain an understanding of the relative number of members who currently use small waste oil burners.
Further guidance will be published by Defra in December 2015. If you have any comments send them to Martin Rogers at bWFydGluLnJvZ2Vyc0BuZnUub3JnLnVr.