Burges Salmon acts for waste operator Hazrem Environmental in air quality permit appeal

Burges Salmon’s market leading environment team acted in one of the first environmental permit appeals to grapple with objections solely on the grounds of air quality.

15 December 2017

Hazrem’s application for an environmental permit for its proposed solid recovered fuel processing facility was refused solely on the grounds of NO2 emissions, despite the fact that predicted emissions came within the EU’s air quality objective levels, with the regulator concluding that ‘the evidence of increasing air pollution and ill health effects is strong and any deterioration of local air quality is likely to have an adverse health and wellbeing impact’.

The appeal raised a number of novel arguments, such as the degree to which traffic emissions should be considered within environmental permitting, and the impact of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 on permit decision-making.  Following a public inquiry, the inspector agreed with Hazrem’s case that the air quality impacts from the installation were not significant enough to refuse the grant of an environmental permit.  The Inspector also agreed with Hazrem that traffic emissions should not be included in the calculations at the permitting stage, being a matter for the planning regime, but went on to find that the emissions from traffic associated with facility would still be minor and would not justify refusing a permit.  The Inspector observed that air quality in the area would be better addressed in a holistic manner by the local authority through air quality management plans rather than refusing the permit.

Burges Salmon Environment team partner Simon Tilling says: “Air quality is a serious issue and it is right that emissions are scrutinised.  However, Hazrem has always been clear that the facility will not have a significant impact on air quality, and I am pleased that the Inspector agreed with us.  Indeed, the Inspector acknowledged that the project “will contribute to the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society” which is a key driver behind Hazrem’s ambitions.”

Hazrem’s Managing Director Paul Goddard comments: “There has been a lot of misunderstanding about our project and its impacts on air quality within the community.  Air quality is a complicated subject and the inquiry allowed us to correct some myths and put the record straight.  Burges Salmon did an excellent job helping us to explain this complicated area in clear and rational terms, and I am very pleased with the result.”

Key contact

Simon-Tilling--250px x 250px 72dpi - web

Simon Tilling Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • REACH, Chemicals and Product Stewardship
  • Energy, Power and Utilities

Subscribe to news and insight

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more