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Is your Waste Exemption Permit Due for Renewal?


Farmers who registered for waste exemption permits when the system was updated in 2013 will need to renew their applications this summer reminds Emma Fairbairn from our Alnwick office.

"Most farmers registered for the three-year exemption when the new rules first came into effect," she says. "They must now re-register or risk falling foul of the system."

"The Environment Agency (EA) claim to be primed to receive a wave of waste exemptions between now and October with as many as 70,000 farmers expected to submit up to 500,000 applications on line. Their new digital application service should make online registration quicker and easier, but with a large number of applications forecast it may be best to get in early," suggests Emma.

Agricultural Waste Exemptions allow farm businesses to handle small quantities of waste of a low risk nature - tyres on top of silage sheets, burning hedge cuttings and building farm tracks with rubble for example and sludge disposal to name but a few. Provided they meet the limits and conditions set out by the EA, registering for exemptions is free and therefore more cost effective than an environmental permit.

"The EA should write to you when your renewal is due," says Emma. "But with such a huge number of applications due for renewal, it is best to be self-aware. Anyone unsure of their validity for application or needing assistance with an application should get in touch."

Are you Eligible to Apply?

  • ·There are 26 exemptions that agricultural businesses can register for
  • ·Exemptions are registered for a specific ‘place’. This can be on your farm or on outlying land and separate farmyards or land managed as a part of your farming unit. If you manage different yards as separate businesses, they will need to be registered separately
  • ·You must comply with the limits and restrictions set out in your exemption or risk prosecution
  • ·This includes making sure you are not putting anyone’s health at risk or harming the environment. Any risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals; nuisance through noise or odours; or any activity which might adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest are strictly prohibited.

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