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Do not miss the IPPC window

by 5m Editor
18 September 2006, at 12:17pm

UK - Don’t be late with your IPPC application. If you are, your application will be treated as being for a new unit rather than an existing one - and a whole new scale of charges comes into play, reports Digby Scott, NPA.

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The new unit charges will be particularly eye-watering if you are within 440 yards of “sensitive receptors” (translation: people who might complain about smell and noise).

For instance, the Environment Agency estimates odour, noise and ammonia impact assessments will cost £2,000 to £2,500 each.

And the Agency may seek to punish any late applicant not just by charging as if it were for a new unit but by pretending it really IS a new unit. Thus any improvement plan timescale may be reduced – as the unit is new.

This means non-compliant existing facilities and buildings may not be allowed to run their natural life.

In contrast, if you make your application in good time – which realistically should not be later than mid-January – you won’t have to cover your slurry store (it would probably collapse if you did anyway) until it reaches the end of its natural life, or 2020, whichever come first.

“It is not only the cost of obtaining a permit, but the on-costs as well, that will be higher for those who miss the November to January application window,” said Nigel Penlington, BPEX/NPA’s environment specialist.

Although IPPC has the potential to cause the biggest disruption to some pig units since foot-and-mouth in 2001, the Environment Agency is expected to be unsympathetic to those who meet the thresholds but have failed to make an application for a permit.

It cites the fact that it has secured no fewer than 30 convictions in Yorkshire alone against aberrant car dismantlers.

The Agency will be tapping the knowledge of its staff on the ground to identify sites that might meet the thresholds and where no permit application has been received.

Producers who genuinely do not meet the thresholds but, for whatever reason, are near the thresholds, or perhaps historically once met the thresholds, might wish to check their position by talking to an experienced pig industry consultant or contacting Nigel Penlington.

The IPPC thresholds are 750 sows or 2,000 finishers over 30 kilos. A standard application will cost £3,331 and thereafter there will be an annual subsistence charge of £2,229-£2,794, depending on unit size.

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