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Medium Combustion Plant Directive Emission Limits

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee have voted to enforce limits upon medium combustion plant emissions for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide under draft plans titled ‘Limitation of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plants’. The draft sets out emission limit values for facilities / combustion plants which burn fuel with a rated thermal input (RTI) (i.e. gross fuel input) of between 1-50MW.

What Is The Medium Combustion Plant Directive All About?

Currently both large and small combustion plants are already controlled by the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU) and (1009/125/EC) but medium combustion plant emissions are generally not regulated at EU level.

The move would adapt the current scheme, in order to match the plants’ thermal input, in order to reduce the administrative burden on small businesses. Each individual Medium Combustion Plant (MCP), existing or new, will have to meet Emission Limit Values (ELVs) for the production of Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and dust (Total Particulate Matter).

The proposals also set out a ‘simple registration scheme’ in order to ‘help deliver a significant part of a Member States’ emission reduction obligations and also avoid possible trade-offs between air quality and increased biomass use, which may otherwise result in increased air pollution’

Who Will Be Affected By The Medium Combustion Plant Directive?

This change would affect around 150,000 medium combustion plants around Europe, of which 17,000 are located in the UK. systems such as heaters, boilers, turbines, engines or any form of electricity generator for residential, domestic or industrial processes. Only excluding:

  • Plants covered by the ‘eco-design’ Directive (nominally less than 1 MW thermal input)
  • Plants whose combustion gases are used for direct heating, drying or other treatment.
  • Plants used solely to purify waste gases (eg thermal oxidisers)
  • Plants used for propulsion/transport
  • Plants which are subject to the Chapters in the Industrial Emissions Directive dealing with waste incineration or large combustion plants (aggregated to 50 MW and above).

When Will The Medium Combustion Plant Directive Come Into Force?

Who Will Check The Legislation Is Being Applied Properly?

It is still being decided as to who will check that this legislation is being properly applied, with each EU country nominating a ‘Competent Authority’ to operate a system of Medium Combustion Plant Directive registration. In the UK this may be either the Local Authority or the Environment Agency. This decision will be made before UK implementation.

Who Will Provide The Measurements?

This will be most probably be decided when the legislation is passed into UK law and will more than likely be an extension of the current MCERTS programme. The measurements will however have to be taken in accordance with international standards and be verifiable and audited.

How Often Will The Medium Combustion Plant Directive Emission Monitoring Be Required?

It is expected that each plant will require measurements to be taken of the relevant pollutants within 3 months of registration and annually thereafter if the Medium Combustion Plant has a RTI of 20 MW or greater and every three years if below 20 MW RTI.

Experts In Combustion Plant Emissions Monitoring

Envirocare are able to offer UKAS and MCERTS accreditation for every Environment Agency ‘Standard Reference Method’ for Stack Emissions Monitoring including Bioaerosol and Odour.

Adam May, Sales & Operations Manager at Envirocare says “The introduction of this new legislation plugs the gap that exists in UK regulation, between large (>50MW) and small (0.4-3MW) combustion plants. The Directive presents an opportunity to the stack emissions monitoring industry in this important area.”

If you have any questions regarding this policy, if this affects your business or the monitoring of Large, Small or Medium Combustion Plant Directive Emissions then call us on 01274 738668 or fill out our Envirocare Enquiry Form.