As a pig or poultry farmer, you are probably aware there is a requirement to adhere and apply Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC). After much industry lobbying and many amendments, producers are urged to get applications in by 15 January.

Aiming to control the environmental effects of certain industries, the regulations hope to prevent and reduce emissions to air, land and water from selected industries, using best available techniques (BAT).

Regulations have been made as simple and least time consuming as possible, explains Nick Green, steering group member and farm operations director of Somerset-based company Alvis Bros. “Great effort has been made by the pig and poultry sectors working with the NFU and Environment Agency to make the application process as accessible as possible.

“With free sources of help available, farmers should aim to spend about 50 hours completing the application, providing things that have to be obtained from agencies have been,” he adds. And while others sit back and observe, it might not be long before these regulations are imposed on other sectors.

Applications cover all aspects of farm management, including feed delivery and manure spreading, as BPEX environment technologist Nigel Penlington outlines.

Does it apply to my farm?

Yes, if you have capacity to farm more than 750 sows (including in-pig gilts) or more than 2000 production pigs over 30kg.

New or enlarged farms above the threshold need a permit before stocking. Existing farms that need a permit must apply between now and 31 January 2007. However, pigs reared outside are excluded from IPPC legislation.

What is the objective of IPPC?

The IPPC legislation aims to control pollutants from industrial activity including raw material and fuel usage through waste minimisation. Specific to intensive livestock farming are, manure management, minimising pollution from livestock housing, energy and accident management.

What do I need to do?

If you fall into the listed categories above, you will need to complete an application form, available from the Environment Agency.

Help is available in compiling applications, such as accident management plans, site plans and reports, manure management plans, as well as individual queries from the Environment Agency, BPEX, NPA and the NFU. A series of factsheets are available taking readers through the first steps in making an application. BPEX, with assistance of farmers, has prepared a model application.

What can I get started on now?

The first step is to produce a site plan, which will form the foundations of producing further plans, such as layout and access details, site drainage, accident management plans and a manure management plan.

If you have a plan available from a computer recording package or a planning application, this may be suitable to adapt. This does not necessary need to be to scale, but, for people unfamiliar with your farm it needs to be easily understood.

The next stage is to produce a base plan, which will need to include feed bins, fuel stores, chemical stores, incinerator, site access, adjacent and on-site watercourses, roads, site name, scale and date.

How do I make it into a drainage plan?

Adding to the site base plan by identifying drainage systems helps assess a permit application and identify potential drainage routes to watercourses, control points and access details.

Plot a full site survey making a note of key components and mark these on your plan, including clean water drains, lightly contaminated water drains, dirty drains and slurry channels, manholes and inspection chambers, diverter valve, direction of water flow, drain inlet, bunded area.

Why do I need an accident plan?

An accident plan is designed to manage and minimise the impact of accidents which may affect the environment. The first page of the plan should detail key site information.

The site plan should include details of the site in terms of emergency situations, such as mains water stop tap, gas supply isolators, pollution inspection points and potentially sensitive areas to pollution.

A building inventory and list of emergency procedures should also be included in the plan.

But I know where I spread my muck?

Where slurry and manure is spread on the applicant’s own land, a manure management plan is required, this is basically the same as the ELS requirement, but with additional detail.

Producing a risk map of fields where muck will be spread and stored, highlighting watercourses, springs and boreholes and identifying the level of risk associated with spreading are just the first steps of completing this part of the process.

Where manures are exported from the farm, records of movements are required. These may be those already retained by farmers in NVZs.

IPPC QUICK CHECKLIST

By Nick Green, Pork Chain Solutions

  • Start by obtaining copies of the How to comply guidance note, application site report guidance and template, and model application form to produce a plan of your IPPC site
  • Obtain a 1:10 000 map to show site location
  • Apply to the EA for information relating to the area around your site using the request form. There is no charge for this, but it may take up to 40 days to arrive. This includes:
  1. Discharge consents
  2. Waste management licences
  3. Groundwater and surface water abstraction licences
  4. Groundwater Vulnerability Classification
  5. Source Protection Zones
  6. Integrated pollution control authorisations and pollution prevention and control permits
  7. Pollution incidents
  8. Surface water classification
  • For your own existing data or elsewhere, collect required information including:
  1. Current land use maps
  2. Historical maps showing former land use activities
  3. Nature conservation designations
  4. Geological map showing solid and drift geology or site specific borehole log if one exists
  5. Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
  6. Soil types
  7. Pollution prevention measures
  • Complete the application using the information above, your own knowledge and the How to comply guidance notes. Submit application with relevant information and payment. Allow time for the EA to check your application well and before the 31 January 2007.