The Environment Agency has approved the first sector-specific guide on Fire Prevention Plans (FPPs) for sites handling waste wood, it has been confirmed.
The Wood Recycling Association (WRA), which confirmed the news, said the document outlines the different fraction sizes of waste wood that may be stored and the differences in their storage requirements, as well as talking about seasonality challenges faced by the industry and how to explain these in an FPP.
Previously, there were concerns that FPPs were hindering many in the wood recycling industry.
Commenting on the guide, Andy Hill, chair of the WRA, said he is pleased to get the guide finalised, after working for “over a year” with the Agency.
“More recently this culminated in collaborative working with fire specialist Peter Buckley who helped to move things forward considerably,” Mr Hill explained.
Mr Hill added: “However the background to this dates back much further than the past 12 months. We have been in discussion with the EA for over three years about the content of the actual FPP guidance itself and how a one-size-fits-all approach would not work for our sector.
“The past 12 months has seen some remarkable break-throughs and we believe that we now have a guide that can help wood recyclers make the FPP guidance work for our industry and the EA.”
While the exact contents of the guide won’t be revealed until the December WRA meeting, at the Fire Conference last week, which was organised by letsrecycle.com, WRA executive director Julia Turner outlined some of the details of the guide (see letsrecycle.com story).
This includes giving an overview of the wood sector and the issues it has as well as looking at alternative measures specific to the wood industry, and Mrs Turner also pledged to share this with other associations in order to help them to develop their own programmes.
Commenting on the official release of the guidance, Julia Turner said: “We would like to thank everyone at the EA and our sector partners for helping us to get to this point.
“We are extremely proud to be the first trade body to launch a sector-specific guide for our members and hope this will mean many more wood recyclers and reprocessors will now be able to gain approved FPPs in a timely manner.”