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Setting the record straight

THE Mineral Products Association says the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) in no way has any implication on, or jurisdiction over, the production, use and application of any natural, quarried and processed chalk or limestone products, which have specifically been won as the main purpose of an operation. This is also the message that the Agricultural Lime Association (ALA) wants to put across after confusion has resulted from the new EPR, which state that an exemption is required for chalk.

Stephen Hill, secretary for the ALA, explained: ‘Chalk and limestone products produced by our members are sold expressly for the maintenance of the appropriate soil pH and neutralization of soil acidity. Any reference to chalk or limestone within the EPR applies to waste materials arising from construction or demolition operations, where the resultant material arising is waste to the operation, and not the primary objective of the operation.’

The Environmental Permitting Regulations was introduced in April 2010 and the misunderstanding has arisen from exemption U10 of the EPR, where ‘chalk’ is listed as one of the qualifying wastes. The purpose of listing ‘waste chalk’ within the exemption provides guidelines for users of ‘waste chalk’ from construction, ie the limitations and protocols required for compliance by land managers.    

However, exemption U10 of the EPR has led many in the agricultural industry to interpret all chalk-based products to be within this category and to require an exemption - whether construction/demolition waste, or quarried, processed agricultural lime products conforming to the UK Fertilisers Regulations 1991.    

The Agricultural Lime Association (ALA) wants to make it clear to the agricultural and environmental industries that this is not the case and no exemption is required for the use of its members’ products. These products are derived from naturally occurring chalk reserves and are processed to the highest specifications prescribed by the UK Fertiliser Regulations 1991, in accordance with the ALA Code of Practice laid down for the assurance and satisfaction of customers.


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