The Environment Agency (EA) will review all existing environmental permits over the next four years, following the introduction of new requirements for permit holders.
The main change is the introduction of Best Available Technique Associated Emission Levels (BAT AELs). The AELs for ammonia emissions and nitrogen and phosphorus excretion will apply to all permits.
The EA will be sending questionnaires to all permitted farms this autumn to determine whether existing permits comply with the new standards and identify what, if any, improvements are required. Farms with a permit, or those applying for one, will need to comply with requirements as soon as the new/updated permit is issued.
At its latest meeting in September, the NPA producer group expressed concern that the current emissions factors used to calculate ammonia levels were outdated as advances in genetics and nutrition mean that current systems are emitting much less than predicted.
The group asked the NPA to write to Defra to ask it to suspend the introduction of the new BAT AELs for permitted units until the outdated emission factors have been updated to ensure that costly and unnecessary charges are not levied onto members .
AHDB Pork workshops
AHDB Pork is holding a series of workshops around the country with the EA to help producers understand how the review process will be carried out and what the implications of the changes for their businesses will be.
AHDB Pork’s environment and buildings project manager Susan Rabbich said: “The main aim of the workshops is to focus on how to answer the questionnaire and how to avoid pitfalls. Essentially, it’s important to understand why the questions are being asked and also to have some understanding of what is expected when answering them.”
Pig producers are encouraged to attend one of the workshops this autumn. They will be small and informal meetings and provide attendees with the opportunity to meet their local EA officer.
The workshops will be held on:
- 5 October, Kidderminster
- 16 October, Wetherby
- 17 October, Diss
- 25 October, Driffield
- 7 November, Taunton
- 8 November, Bristol/Bath
More details, including timings and venues are available on AHDB Pork’s website
Anyone wanting further information on the changes and the review process can contact AHDB Pork on 024 7647 8798 or the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.