The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) has begun work with the Environment Agency (EA) to develop a Waste Wood Template to help operators in the sector get approval for non-standard Fire Prevention Plans (FPPs).
The template, the first to be developed following the introduction of the Environment Agency’s FPP3 guidance last year, will define acceptable “alternative measures” to ensure that the three overall objectives of the FPP guidance are still met. This will give the industry the flexibility required to gain approval for site-specific FPPs, WRA says.
Julia Turner, Wood Recyclers Association – “We are now producing a template which will help operators who don’t necessarily have consultants or specialist employees focused on fire prevention to understand what that flexibility actually looks like in real life.”
As part of this work, the WRA will also develop a model to create appropriate calculation methods which will define storage and pile size guidelines for different fraction sizes of wood.
Julia Turner, executive director of the Wood Recyclers Association, said: “We have had an initial meeting with the EA to begin work on this template and are now putting a working group together to take it forward.
“Having a template will help WRA members and other wood reprocessors and recyclers understand what alternative measures they will need to have in place when putting forward proposals for bespoke pile sizes and storage durations.
“We hope that in working with the EA in this way we will be able to agree a level of flexibility that will allow operators who need site-specific FPPs to be able to continue running their sites in a way the EA is satisfied minimises the risk to the environment.”
Fire Prevention Plan Guidance
The Environment Agency introduced its FPP3 guidance in July last year following a public consultation exercise on the previous version of the guidance (FPP2). However, the WRA and other trade bodies still felt some aspects of the guidance were unworkable for larger operators and that the guidance was trying to achieve a “one size fits all” approach.
Since the introduction of FPP2 in 2015, the WRA has taken the lead on behalf of a number of trade associations – including UROC, ORG (the Association for Organics Recycling) and the Tyre Recyclers Association – to lobby the EA and gain a better understanding of what flexibility will be allowed for non-standard plans.
Julia added: “The EA have said that bespoke pile sizes and storage durations can be agreed as long as appropriate alternative measures are in place to prevent fire.
“We are now producing a template which will help operators who don’t necessarily have consultants or specialist employees focused on fire prevention to understand what that flexibility actually looks like in real life.
“We are hopeful this will benefit both sides and allow the industry to move forward in a positive way.”