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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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