Enforcement notice on energy-from-waste site

8th February 2013

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  • Generation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Air ,
  • Control



The troubled energy-from-waste plant at Dargavel in Dumfries has had to restrict operations after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issued an enforcement notice following a breach of the site's pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit in October 2012

Sepa issued the notice in January after monitoring equipment revealed that dioxin and furan emissions to air on 16 October from one of its two waste lines, which at the time was processing non-hazardous waste, were 0.14ngm3, exceeding the 0.1ngm3 limit.

The PPC permit requires the operator, Scotgen, to notify Sepa within four weeks of an emission limit value (ELV) breach, but the company failed to do so.

The enforcement notice requires the company to demonstrate that monitoring results will be submitted to the regulator within four weeks of sampling, and for the plant’s secondary combustion chamber to run at a higher temperature – 1,100°C rather than 850°C as allowed by the Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC).

In June 2012, a breach of the ELV for dioxins and furans on waste line one resulted in the plant being shutdown while the operator put in place improvements demanded by Sepa.

The previously undamaged second line was restarted on 7 September 2012, while line one became fully operational on 17 October 2012. However, a spokesperson for the regulator told the environmentalist that both lines then suffered further water and steam leaks, which required the plant to be brought offline again for repair on 30 October 2012.

“Before the halt of operations, sampling was taken of waste line two on 16 October 2012. The monitoring results were reported late and noted a dioxin and furan limit breach,” he said.

Described by Scotgen as Europe’s most-advanced energy-from-waste facility, the Dargavel plant has been beset by problems since waste-processing operations started in December 2009, and has yet to generate electricity.

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