Green electricity produced from sewage by Thames Water is to be sold to business in a deal to promote renewable energy. The company has teamed up with the Renewable Energy Company to market electricity generated at 22 sewage treatment works throughout the Thames region. The partnership involves 60MW of power, of which Thames Water will currently produce about 24MW – enough to continually power around 38,000 homes.

Source: Water and Waste Treatment

A new Government programme to support the uptake of biotechnology by industry kicks off this month with a national launch roadshow. The four-year programme, Bio-Wise, takes over where the Bioremediation Means Business initiative left off. Over the next few months Bio-Wise will announce a range of new measures, including the grant support to help demonstrate the use of biotechnology in industry. For details ring the Bio-Wise Helpline 0800 43210 or visit the website: www.dti.gov.uk/biowise.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

The DETR has announced an additional £1.5m funding for its 1999-2000 research programme, in addition to research funded by the Environment Agency. DETR is inviting ideas for research into global atmosphere, air and environment quality, chemicals and biotechnology, radioactive substances, noise, water and land, waste management, and economics and statistics.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

The aggregates quarrying industry must deliver an agreed package of voluntary measures to improve the environment or be faced with an aggregates tax, says the Government. Before a final decision is made as to whether to proceed with a tax, the industry must improve its present proposed voluntary package to better reflect its economic and environmental effects. It has until mid-July 1999 to update its earlier proposals, and if an acceptable package is not offered, the Government will enact the draft clauses for a tax published in its Budget Report this month.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

The Advisory Comittee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) published its fifth annual report last month. A factual account of the Committee’s business over the last 12-18 months, it includes the ACRE’s thinking on Genetically Modified Organisms and Crops along with details of approvals and rejections of proposals for release into the environment of non-native species.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

Specialist waste treatment contractor Lanstar Ltd has been fined £40,000 with costs of £1,676.59 for charges relating to breaches of a waste management licence at its Manchester site. Lanstar was fined £15,000 for a fire caused by an uncontrolled chemical reaction, £10,000 for a release of gas to the atmosphere, and £15,000 for treating special waste in a manner likely to cause pollution to the environment and harm to human health.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

Waste contractor Sarp UK is under fresh Environment Agency scrutiny for an alleged excedence of the release limit for carbon monoxide applicable to its merchant chemical waste incinerator at Killamarsh. This follows an earlier enforcement notice for CO emissions non-compliance and is in addition to a prosecution for other incidents which occurred at the site in May 1998.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

Special Wastes: A Technical Guide Note on their Definition and Classification has been published by the Environment Agency to help both industry and regulators meet their obligations to ensure that the threat posed by the potentially most harmful wastes is minimised. The 400-page document is the result of an extensive consultation exercise and it superceeds the Interim Technical Guidance referred to in DoE circulars 6/96 and 14/96, Welsh Office circulars 21/96 and 39/96 and SOAFED 13/96 and 26/96 from the Scottish Office. Copies are available from The Stationery Office, price £125, tel: 0171 873 9090, fax: 0171 873 8200.

Source: Industrial Environmental Management

The director general of Water Services has published proposals to alter Anglian Water’s licence as a water supplier to include the area currently served by Hartlepool Water, following its takeover two years ago. Following consultation and examination of the responses received, the director general plans to terminate Hartlepool Water’s licence and replace it with a varied licence for Anglian Water to take effect from 1 April 2000.

Source: Water and Waste Treatment

Evidence from Bournemouth & West Hampshire Water suggests that customer communications attract the most positive reactions when delivered by hand.

In recent simulations of emergency procedures, the company made door-to-door deliveries of 8,500 customers on the outskirts of Bournemouth using a promotional product leaflet in place of an emergency communication. The returned inquiries for the product – insurance for household services – were three times those obtained from posting the same leaflet to similar socio-economic areas. All told, 78 enquiries were received with 57 take-ups on emergency maintenance cover.

Source: Water and Waste Treatment

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