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Push-back against dust emissions

Mills with a production capacity above 300t/day are subject to environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency, regulating aspects of mill sites such as noise.

New environmental regulations affecting food and drink manufacturing installations are set to apply from December 2023, and the process of reviewing permits to account for these new regulations is in full swing.

For flour mills, the most significant change is a dust emission limit, requiring mills to monitor their dust emissions on an annual basis and ensure they are below a strict threshold.

The secretariat pushed back against these limits as they were not proportionate to the environmental impact of dust from the milling process, which is organic matter and will readily decompose. Not least considering the fact dust emissions represents product loss, so mills have been doing all they can to minimise these emissions already.

A group consisting of members from the Environment Working Group and Health and Safety Committee met to discuss the issue and agree an industry position to present to the Environment Agency.

This will include a request to limit monitoring to three emission points each year, and for less frequent checks for mills that have a good record of compliance with the limits. It is hoped these changes can be secured and will make the emission monitoring more manageable for mills.


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