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Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what conclusions of relevance to the future implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive her Department has drawn from the United Kingdom experience with end of life refrigerators. [58104]

Mr. Meacher: The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive has not yet been finalised. It is expected to be adopted later this year. However, UK officials are currently consulting all stakeholders on the best means of implementation and will take full account of previous experience of EU legislation. As a directive, the draft WEEE legislation allows a degree of flexibility in its implementation which contrasts with the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) legislation which is a directly applicable regulation.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to publish a domestic energy efficiency strategy. [58540]

Mr. Meacher: The Government are developing a domestic energy efficiency strategy to 2010. Energy efficiency, including domestic energy efficiency, will be addressed in the Energy White Paper, which will be published towards the end of the year.

Waste Incinerators

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what (a) gases and (b) emission levels have breached legal limits in each of the last five years from the Edmonton Incinerator; what impact this had on local air quality; and if she will make a statement; [57710]

10 Jun 2002 : Column 945W

Mr. Meacher: The table lists the dates within the last three and a half years on which the Environment Agency has recorded emissions breaching a limit set in the authorisation for the Edmonton incinerator.

The information presented gives the averaged emission over the period of a breach, which may last up to a few hours.

The Environment Agency informs me that files relating to the remainder of the last five years have been lost. However, the remaining files indicate that there were additionally reported breaches on 24 November 1997, 2 December 1997 and 14 April 1998 but no data on the types or levels of emission are available.

In response to the increased number of breaches of the hydrogen chloride limit in 1999, the Agency wrote a strongly worded letter to the operator of the incinerator. In response to this letter the operator instituted a series of actions that has virtually eliminated these breaches.

In response to the increased number of breaches of the carbon monoxide limit in 2001 the Agency issued an enforcement notice requiring the operator to analyse the causes of the breaches and report the results of the analysis to the Agency. The reports show that if there is a loss of waste feed to the incinerator the resulting excess air cools the flame resulting in increased carbon monoxide emissions. The most common causes of a loss of waste feed are failure of the waste feed ram, bulky items blocking the waste feed chute and blockages of the ash removal mechanism. The enforcement notice and the operator's responses are on the Public Register maintained by the Agency which can be viewed at the following address:

With regard to the impact of such breaches on local air quality, both the operator and the Agency have carried out dispersion modelling of emissions from the plant. The Agency has modelled emissions from the plant under worst case breach conditions in comparison with current standards. It was concluded that at the highest recorded level of emissions there would not be a breach of an air quality standard.


Date EmissionValue—average emission Emission limit
22 September 1998Hydrogen chloride10330
22 September 1998Hydrogen chloride9030
22 September 1999Sulphur dioxide217300
22 September 1998Sulphur dioxide242300
21 December 1998Hydrogen chloride5530
17 February 1999Carbon monoxide331100
17 February 1999Sulphur dioxide454300
17 February 1999Sulphur dioxide512300
6 April 1999Carbon monoxide167100
6 April 1999Carbon monoxide180100
22 July 1999Hydrogen chloride14030
22 July 1999Hydrogen chloride4830
27 July 1999Hydrogen chloride51830
4 October 1999Hydrogen chloride6230
4 November 1999Hydrogen chloride8330
23 November 1999Hydrogen chloride15230
23 November 1999Hydrogen chloride6930
22 May 2000Carbon monoxide132100
21 June 2000Carbon monoxide302100
28 July 2000Carbon monoxide308100
10 August 2000Carbon monoxide311100
21 November 2000Carbon monoxide145100
22 November 2000Carbon monoxide179100
18 October 2000Carbon monoxide269100
18 October 2000Carbon monoxide450100
19 January 2001Carbon monoxide106100
30 January 2001Carbon monoxide101100
9 February 2001Carbon monoxide132100
19 February 2001Carbon monoxide138100
20 February 2001Carbon monoxide178100
26 February 2001Hydrogen chloride5430
26 February 2001Hydrogen chloride3430
26 February 2001Carbon monoxide163100
5 March 2001Carbon monoxide212100
9 March 2001Carbon monoxide165100
22 March 2001Carbon monoxide267100
4 May 2001Particulate3030
18 May 2001Carbon monoxide138100
21 May 2001Carbon monoxide150100
31 May 2001Carbon monoxide156100
30 May 2001Carbon monoxide172100
21 June 2001Carbon monoxide136100
5 July 2001Carbon monoxide174100
3 July 2001Carbon monoxide131100
2 July 2001Carbon monoxide237100
17 July 2001Carbon monoxide151100
3 July 2001Carbon monoxide308100
11 July 2001Oxides of nitrogen443350
11 July 2001Oxides of nitrogen352350
19 July 2001Oxides of nitrogen355350
12 July 2001Carbon monoxide231100
23 July 2001Carbon monoxide295100
22 August 2001Carbon monoxide279100
3 August 2001Carbon monoxide185100
3 August 2001Carbon monoxide242100
7 August 2001Oxides of nitrogen355350
7 August 2001Oxides of nitrogen359350
7 August 2001Oxides of nitrogen354350
10 August 2001Oxides of nitrogen355350
17 October 2001Carbon monoxide297100
25 October 2001Carbon monoxide272100
12 November 2001Carbon monoxide340100
28 November 2001Carbon monoxide201100
31 December 2001Carbon monoxide288100
5 February 2002Carbon monoxide145100
25 February 2002Carbon monoxide208100

10 Jun 2002 : Column 946W

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she will take to improve the regulatory framework in which energy from waste incinerators operate in order to ensure breaches in emissions are minimised; and if she will make a statement. [57709]

Mr. Meacher: 'Energy from Waste' incinerators are already tightly regulated through authorisations issued under the Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) regime. This regulatory regime is being subsumed into the even more exacting Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC). Existing energy from waste incinerators will have to apply for IPPC permits by 31 August 2005.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 947W

Additionally, we are currently transposing the new Waste Incineration Directive (WID), which will further tighten emissions standards. This will apply to all new incinerators within its scope by 28 December 2002, and to existing plant by 28 December 2005.

The Environment Agency has also recently varied the authorisations for existing municipal solid waste incinerators to reduce the dioxin emission limit to that required by the WID.

In all cases, authorisations and permits specify stringent emission limits and other operating conditions with which the operator must comply. The Environment Agency assesses compliance through its monitoring and inspection programmes.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action is being taken by the Environment Agency to reduce emissions of gases from energy from waste incinerators; what improvements have been registered in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [57711]

10 Jun 2002 : Column 948W

Mr. Meacher: The Environment Agency has implemented the EU Municipal Waste Incineration Directives through the Integrated Pollution Control regime by imposing emission limits which are as strict as, or stricter than, those required by these directives. In addition, the agency has imposed limits for nitrogen oxides and dioxins although they were not required by the directives, and, in general, tighter limits for heavy metals.

The agency has also issued variation notices which have:

The table summarises improvements made during the last five years at the 11 operational municipal waste incinerators, regulated by the Environment Agency, which recover energy from waste.

London Waste Ltd.Edmonton, LondonPlant upgraded and recommissioned 1997
SELCHPDeptford, LondonInstalled oxides of nitrogen abatement (SNCR) August 1998
Coventry and Solihull Waste Disposal Co. Ltd.CoventryPlant abatement upgraded 1996–97
MES Environmental Ltd.Dudley, West MidlandsNew plant commissioned 1998
MES Environmental Ltd.WolverhamptonNew plant commissioned 1998
MES Environmental Ltd.Stoke-on-TrentNew plant commissioned 1998
Tyseley Waste Disposal Ltd.Tyseley, BirminghamNew plant commissioned 1998
Waste Recycling Group plcNottinghamPlant upgraded and recommissioned 1997
GM Waste Ltd.Bolton, LancashireNew plant commissioned 2000
Sheffield city councilSheffieldPlant upgraded and recommissioned 1997–98. Application for new plant currently being determined.
Cleveland Waste ManagementBillingham, ClevelandNew plant commissioned 1–99

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