1. That there is no other reasonable safe and practicable method of disposing of the matter
2. That the burning is carried out in such a manner as to minimise the emission of dark smoke
3. That the burning is carried out under direct and continuous supervision of the occupier of the premises concerned or the person authorised to act on his behalf
Under the Clean Air Act 1993 an investigating officer does not have to see the smoke but can assume that ‘dark smoke’ has been emitted from trade or industrial premises where material is burned on those premises and the circumstances are such that the burning would be likely to have resulted in the emission of dark smoke.
Burning trade waste registered exemptions and environmental permits
It is also an offence under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deposit, keep, treat and dispose (for example by burning) of waste material without an environmental permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2010. However, as already mentioned, the Regulations provide an exemption for demolition waste consisting of wood, bark or plant matter. This exemption needs to be registered with the Environment Agency.
Visit the Environment Agency website for details of how to register an exemption (link opens in a new window)
Burning other materials is not exempted and therefore an environmental permit would be required if such waste is burnt on site. If wood, bark or plant matter is to be burnt on site, it is important to ensure that this material does not contain or is contaminated by chemicals or other waste material, as again an environmental permit would be required.
You should also be aware that waste produced from the construction of buildings and structures (not from demolition, including waste timber) is not exempt from permitting. Anyone convicted of an offence under the permitting requirement may potentially face a fine of up to £20,000 or six months in prison.
It is also an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to cause a statutory nuisance by emitting any smoke, which is prejudicial to health or a nuisance (Section 79) or to cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health (Section 33(1)c). A person who commits an offence shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding £20,000.
Hull City Council
Tel: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Fax: 01482 615 504