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A Part 14 Environment


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Health and Safety Course, Environment

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A Part 14 Environment

  1. 1. Environmental Pollution Classification of Wastes Practical Waste Management Waste Disposal Legal Regimes Applicable
  2. 2. Environmental Pollution  Accidental release of toxic wastes is usually result of design or planning failure, bad engineering or incompetent management  Intended release may be unregulated (the cowboy option) or condoned by public authorities (best practicable means)
  3. 3. Environmental Pollution  Hazardous wastes contaminate the atmosphere in the form of solids, liquids or gases  Discharge in rivers, lakes or at sea can be widely dispersed by water currents  Land dumping can contaminate soils and groundwater  Buried wastes often react chemically to produce more mobile substances (e.g. landfill gas)  Leachate may seep into unexpected places
  4. 4. Environmental Pollution  At the lowest level are small spillages in a workplace;  Then we have disposal of unwanted by-products from some operation;  At higher levels there are the problems of storage, transportation and disposal of large quantities of waste produced by major plants and public utilities
  5. 5. Integrated Pollution Control  Recognises the combined effects of air, land and water pollution - based on a holistic approach  Established by Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990  Part I of EPA provides for certain processes or substances to be prescribed under regulations  About 5000 processes or substances which are considered to be most polluting in UK are prescribed in schedules to the Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991  Known as Part A processes, as they are on A list
  6. 6. Integrated Pollution Controlair)  Requires that discharges to all media (land, water and are considered and that the Best Practicable Environment Option (BPEO) is chosen to minimise harm to the environment as a whole  An authorisation will require that Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEEC) are used as a standard  BATNEEC guidance notes are produced by DETR and BATNEEC reviews must be undertaken every 4 years in order to keep the process up-to-date and seek continual improvement
  7. 7. Integrated Pollution Control  Application to operate prescribed process must be made to the enforcing authority and a fee paid  Once authorisation to operate the plant is given, it is the duty of operator to ensure that quality and quantity of discharges is kept within the limits
  8. 8. Integrated Pollution Control Discharge of contaminants to air Acid rain from air pollution Land used for land-fill sites; water affected by leachates from contaminated land
  9. 9. Waste Classification Waste Controlled Non-Controlled Household Industrial Commercial Agriculture/Mines/Quarries/ Explosives/Radioactive Hazardous Inert Non-Hazardous (Special)
  10. 10. Special Waste  Controlled by Special Waste Regulations 1996  Defined in the EC Hazardous Waste List  Categories are mirrored in the CHIP and COSHH Regulations and broadly include:  Explosive, flammable and oxidising substances  Irritants and corrosives  Biohazards (infectious, carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic)  Ecotoxics
  11. 11. Clinical Waste  Should be segregated from general waste  Separate bins, signage and training should be provided  Sharps should go into special sharps containers
  12. 12. Duty of Care  Established by Regs and ACOP issued under EPA on anyone who may import, produce, transport, store, treat or dispose of waste - any such person becomes a waste holder  Duty requires that waste holder must keep waste safe, must act to prevent waste from deteriorating and escaping into the environment
  13. 13. Duty of Care  The waste holder must:  Protect the waste while they have it;  Ensure that it reaches the next holder intact  Segregate incompatible wastes  Ensure security  Waste left for collection should be adequately secured and left for a minimum of time  Waste should be labelled where appropriate and in accordance with the CHIP Regulations
  14. 14. Waste Carriers  Anyone who holds waste may transfer it to a waste carrier who must be registered with a Waste Regulation Authority  However, it is part of the waste holder’s duty to ensure that carriers are suitable to handle and dispose of the waste  Thus the duty holder ultimately remains responsible for the fate of the waste
  15. 15. Waste Transfer Waste Transfer Notes Note  System operates by Controlled Waste Transfer Notes which describe the parties to the transfer and the waste itself  Copies must be kept for minimum of 2 years  Under the Special Waste Regulations 1996 a Special Waste Transfer Note must be used for special waste, detailing the hazardous components and their concentrations, and the processes they originated from. These Regs also require:  Pre-notification of any movements of such wastes (by consignment note to EA)  Registers of movements of special waste consignments, and records of sites where such waste has finally been tipped  No mixing, by carriers and consignees, of special and non-special, and different categories of special wastes, unless it be for safe disposal  Regular inspections of special waste producers by regulators
  16. 16. Waste Disposal  Hierarchy of waste management: a.) Waste reduction: Not making it in the first place, by process change and optimising efficiency b.) Re-use: e.g. of glass bottles and other containers c.) Recovery of waste. Options include: - Recycling (e.g. glass, metal, paper) - Incineration with energy recovery - Composting d.) Physical/chemical treatment to reduce bulk and make hazardous waste safe e.) Disposal - generally to landfill  Currently about 70% of controlled waste goes to landfill and there is an increasing shortage of suitable landfill sites
  17. 17. Incineration  Waste burnt at very high temperature and combustion gas passes through series of filters to draw off toxic and particulate materials  Waste-to-energy plants produce steam used to heat buildings directly or to drive turbines to generate electricity
  18. 18. Landfill  Site must be geologically suitable  Environmental Impact Assessment under EPA is needed before license is granted  Nuisances come from noise, odours, dust, litter and vermin  Leachate has to be tightly controlled and drained off to prevent contaminating water courses  Landfill gas is normally collected in pipes laid within the waste and is either flared off or collected and used as fuel
  19. 19. Composting  Biodegradable fraction of waste can be broken down by bacterial decomposition  Produces compost, a fibrous residue which is used as a soil conditioner, organic fertiliser, mulch and potting medium  In the UK home composting is encouraged with subsidised or even free issue of small household units
  20. 20. Environmental Protection Act 1990  Established:  Duty of care with respect to pollution  Code of practice for compliance  Requirement to complete transfer notes recording details of waste transfers  Proper documentation and provision of information to licensed carriers, enforcing agencies etc.  Principles established by the Act include:  Application for consent to discharge waste  Polluter pays (consent fees, enforcement penalties, clean-up costs)  Use of BATNEEC and BPEO as control strategies for schedule substances and processes under IPC
  21. 21. Environmental Protection Act 1990  EPA also controls various statutory nuisances - emission of smoke, fumes, gases, dust, steam, smells, other effluvia and noise at a level which is judged to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance to the community or anyone living in it  This has implications for both industrial plant and waste disposal sites
  22. 22. Previous Exam Questions  Explain, with the aid of diagrams where appropriate, the concept of “integrated pollution control” (IPC). (10 marks)  Section 34 of the EPA places a duty of care on persons concerned with controlled waste: i.) explain the meaning of the term “controlled waste” ii.) Identify the categories of persons on whom the duty is placed, and those who are exempt from such a duty (10 marks)