Dust created through the process of aggregate recycling can have a significant impact on the environment.
Environmental Protection Act 1990
Dust, smoke, fumes, odours and deposits constitute statutory nuisance under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Part I of the Act prescribes certain substances and processes for control and authorisation for continued operation by the Environment Regulator (EA in England and Wales, SEPA in Scotland and NIEA in Northern Ireland) or local authority – the latter being the enforcing authority for operations involving minerals and waste.
Operators have to demonstrate the use of best available techniques not entailing excessive cost (BATNEEC) before an authorisation to operate is granted. Part III of the Act deals with the statutory nuisances from dust etc. from premises. If it is satisfied that a statutory nuisance does exist, it is section 79 and 80 of the Act that deal with the duties of the local authority and the mechanism for serving an abatement notice. However, the local authority cannot go ahead with nuisance proceedings without the consent of the Secretary of State, if an authorisation for the operation has been granted under Part I of the Act.
Appropriate planning conditions can ensure the prevention of dust at source using the principles of entrainment, enclosure, water suppression and good house-keeping. Quantitative dust limits are rarely set as planning conditions. Waste Management licences (Scotland and Northern Ireland) or Environmental Permit (England and Wales) will normally provide conditions requiring the sheeting of loaded vehicles where applicable, but are constrained in what can be required outside the licensed area.
Guidance on the interaction between control of dust imposed by planning conditions and by statutory nuisance legislation is given in the Minerals Policy Statement 2: Controlling and mitigating the environmental effects of mineral extraction in England (March 2005).
For more information, please consult the Planning Module and the Waste Management Regulations Module.
PM10 are the very small particles of dust that can reach deep into the lungs. The Quality of Urban Air Review Group (QUARG) in their 3rd report (1996) found the following levels of PM10 in the environment attributed to certain activities: