The National Policy Statement (NPS) that will guide planning decisions on nationally significant hazardous waste infrastructure projects in England has been laid before parliament.
The document sets out the policy for dealing with applications for projects with a capacity of over 100,000 tonnes a year in the case of hazardous waste landfill sites or over 30,000 tonnes a year for other treatment systems.
These include plants for treating waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), oil; air pollution control residues; oily wastes and oily sludges; and, contaminated soils.
It will be used by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to guide decisions on such projects and also provides guidance for potential developers and advisers.
The draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on Hazardous Waste is one of a series of draft NPSs published on 14 July 2011, under the Planning Act 2008. The Act established a new framework for the assessment and approval of planning proposals for nationally significant infrastructure projects such as water supply projects, hazardous waste, energy, ports, airports or major new railway lines.
However it has been slightly amended since that time following a public consultation in 2011 during which 28 responses were received from organisations including local authorities and planning, hazardous waste management companies and trade associations.
Amendments were also made following scrutiny by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee which published a report in December 2011 calling for the NPS to be approved (see letsrecycle.com story).
Changes to the document include ensuring it is not too prescriptive with regards to technologies and removing a requirement to assess the impacts of insect infestation.
However, a number of other recommendations such as the proposal for DCLG and Defra to take decision on hazardous waste NSIPs together have been rejected.
The NPS was laid before parliament on June 6 after which MPs have been given 21 days to object before it is formally approved.