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Why it pays to get your MCPD application underway early

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Under the rules of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) that came into force at the end of 2018, combustion plants and generators rated at greater than 1MWth and less than 50MWth capacity (based on the fuel input) must now have an environmental permit to operate. 

Anyone installing new plant must allow plenty of time for the permit application process in order to be ready and compliant from the outset. 

“Our experience shows it takes about 12 weeks from application to get the draft permit back from the Environment Agency – plus time is needed to gather all the necessary detail for the application itself, especially if you need a bespoke permit.” says Mike Bond, Senior Engineer at NFU Energy. 

The directive is aimed at improving air quality by controlling the emission of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and dust pollutants, so reducing the potential risks to health and the environment. 

If your plant is in a fairly isolated rural area with little of environmental concern and low hours of operation, then the permit application could fall under the ‘Standard Rule’ category and be simple, straightforward and low cost. 

Factors that could trigger a bespoke permit include the proximity of residential areas or other “receptors” and the nature of the local landscape. For example, being located in or close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest or other type of conservation area. This may require things like air dispersion modelling or a habitat screen assessment to quantify the impact on the local environment. Bespoke permits are more complex, require more detail and involve higher application costs. 

Since the directive came into force towards the end of 2018, NFU Energy have gained a lot of experience guiding farmers and growers through the complexity of the MCPD permitting process and can help with understanding the scheme, making the initial permit application and managing ongoing compliance. Call 024 7669 8919 to find out more. 

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