Operators of large combustion plants may be required to justify the quality of their emissions data
Operators of large combustion plants (LCPs) signed up to the new UK National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) may be required to justify the quality of their emissions data under a proposal being put forward for consultation this week.
The NERP scheme is aimed at reducing emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust from LCPs, which can lead to human health concerns and to acidification problems.
The Environment Agency (EA), SEPA and the Chief Inspector in Northern Ireland are calling for comments from operators, industry groups and environmental stakeholders on new guidance for verifying emissions reporting and operating the trading register.
Participating LCPs will be encouraged to improve efficiency by allowing them to trade emission allowances with other participating LCPs.
EA industry regulation advisor Dr Peter Newman, said: "The UK National Emissions Reduction Plan sets respective annual limits for the emission of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust from participating LCPs, and will allow operators the opportunity to trade these allowances within the respective national bubble for each pollutant."
He added: "Even so operators must hold sufficient allowances to at least match their actual emissions at the end of each calendar year. This is one example of modern regulation in practice. It limits the total national annual emission of these pollutants from participating LCPs across the UK and provides a more equitable way of sharing out the total allocations between operators.
The EA aims to publish a response to the comments received in October 2007.
The NERP register will be set up by the end of November 2007, so that emissions trading can start from 1 January 2008.