On 13 August 2019, the EA published its response to a recent consultation on proposals to revise the standard rules for an environmental permit for a tranche B specified generator that is also a new MCP.

The original consultation and the EA’s response and conclusions can be found at: gov.uk

An MCP is a combustion unit with a rated thermal input equal to or greater than 1 MWth and no more than 49 MWth (combustion plants of 50 MWth and above fall instead under the large combustion plant rules in the Industrial Emissions Directive).

The EA’s response confirms that it will proceed with its main consultation proposal of amending existing standard rules for a tranche B specified generator, so that they also apply to any new MCPs.

In the new standard rules, the EA has set out timescales for submitting emissions monitoring results and added a rule to require notification of changes to new MCPs. Emission limit values (ELVs) and monitoring requirements have been added for “any part of a specified generator that is a new MCP”, and new abatement conditions have been added and will apply to operators that need secondary abatement to achieve compliance with the ELVs.

As an example of member state gold-plating of EU directives, the response also confirmed that based on the conclusions of the EA’s own risk assessment of local air quality, some of the ELVs that apply to a specified generator that comprises (or includes) a new MCP will become more strict than those specified in the EU’s Medium Combustion Plant Directive 2015.

The EA will publish the revised standard rules permits soon. Applying for and obtaining a standard rules permit is voluntary. The permits are intended to be quicker and easier to apply for, but as a result it is not possible to agree any variation to their terms. If one or more conditions of a standard rules permit cannot be met, an application for a bespoke permit can and must be made. A bespoke permit application requires more work and has higher charges.