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Regulatory perspectives on ochre use. Hugh Potter & Brian Bone Environment Agency Science Group www.environment-agency.gov.uk/science The views expressed in this presentation are not necessarily those of the Environment Agency. Outline. Relevant legislation EU Waste Framework Directive

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Regulatory perspectives on ochre use

Regulatory perspectives on ochre use

Hugh Potter & Brian Bone

Environment Agency Science Group

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/science

The views expressed in this presentation are not necessarily those of the Environment Agency


Outline
Outline

  • Relevant legislation

    • EU Waste Framework Directive

      • Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Controlled Waste Regulations 1992

    • Town & Country Planning regime, and Mines and Quarries Act

    • Proposed Mining Waste Directive

  • Regulation of ochre management


Eu waste framework directive
EU Waste Framework Directive

  • WsFD excludes

    “waste resulting from the prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries”, where this waste is already “covered by other legislation”

  • AvestaPolarit case (ECJ) clarified “other legislation” as including national legislation

  • Government’s view is that

    “Town and Country Planning Acts and related legislation meet the test set by the ECJ for national legislation”


Regulation of ochre waste
Regulation of ochre waste ?

  • WsFD excludes 'waste from treatment of mineral resources’ e.g. ochre sludges

  • Therefore not subject to “controlled” waste regime

    • Environmental Protection Act, 1990

    • Landfill Directive

  • Defra consultation (till March 2005) on “The Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2005” confirms that

    • mineral waste regulated by T&C Planning

    • non-mineral waste will be by 2005 Regulations


Mining waste directive
Mining Waste Directive

  • Draft EU Mining Waste Directive covers:

    “management of wastes from the extractive industry from the prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries. ”

  • “mineral resources” defined and excludes “water”

  • Therefore, ochre sludge from mine water treatment is thought to be excluded from MWD (although the interpretation and content of the Directive is subject to change)


When is a mine not a mine
When is a mine not a mine ?

  • Wheal Jane tin mine, Cornwall - active treatment

    • abstraction licence and discharge consent

    • sludge to tailings dam operated under Mines and Quarries Act

    • active treatment not directly regulated

    • legal opinion that still mining waste even though mine is closed.

  • Ochre sludges from treatment of water from abandoned coal mines (e.g. CA schemes)

    • mining wastes so excluded from WsFD


Management options for ochre
Management options for ochre

  • Disposal direct from treatment scheme

    • tailings dam

    • landfill

  • Potential uses

    • nutrient recovery

    • treatment of metal-rich waters

    • but...


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