Land treatment for agricultural benefit or ecological improvement - paragraph 9 exemption

A paragraph 9 exemption allows certain wastes to be spread on land used for agriculture where the spreading will result in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement or on land not used for agriculture where the spreading will result in ecological improvement.

Waste stream(s) permitted

Wastes identified by European Waste Catalogue (EWC) Codes in Column 1 of Table 3, Schedule 2, Part I of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (as amended), and referred to in Column 2 of that Table may be spread on land used for agriculture where the spreading results in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement.

Wastes listed in Part I of Table 3 and identified by EWC Code in Column 1 of Table 3, and referred to in Column 2 of that Table may be spread on operational land of a railway, light railway, or any Government Department; or land which is a forest, woodland, park, garden, verge, bank of an inland waterway, landscaped area, sports ground, recreation ground, churchyard or cemetery, where the land in question is not used for agriculture where the spreading results in ecological improvement.

Quantity

Where waste is to be spread for agricultural benefit the quantity shall be determined by the crop requirement and shall be based on the soil and waste analyses.

No more than 250 tonnes, or in the case of dredgings from inland waters, 5,000 tonnes of waste per hectare can be spread in any 12 month period.

Storage

No more than 1000 cubic metres of waste can be stored and storage must be at the place where it is to be spread. Waste must be stored in a secure container or lagoon or place.

Additional conditions

The spreading of the waste must result in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement and you must submit a certificate describing how the spreading activity will achieve this. The certificate must be prepared by or based on advice from a person with appropriate technical or professional expertise (see below).

Benefit to agriculture shall be assessed by reference to whether the spreading will result in an improvement to the soil for the purpose of growing crops.

Ecological improvement shall be assessed by reference to the extent to which wildlife habitats, which might otherwise deteriorate, are maintained or supported. The creation of a new habitat or the restoration of an old habitat shall be considered an improvement.

Benefit to agriculture and ecological improvement shall be subject to the criteria given in Schedule 2, Part III of the Waste Management Licensing (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003 (as amended)

A certificate of benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement must be submitted with the Paragraph 9 exemption application. Where the waste to be spread involves animal by-products, it must have been treated in accordance with The Animal By-Products Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

Where the Nitrates Action Programme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2006 apply, treatment shall be carried out in accordance with those regulations.

The following information contained in Part II of the schedule is required for the registration for an exemption under Paragraph 9

1. The application shall include the following particulars –

(a) a description of the waste to be used, its physical form and the process from which it arose;

(b) a description of where and how the waste will be stored pending its use;

(c) a description of the land which is to be treated with the waste, including:

  • the farm survey number;
  • client reference number;
  • field number (if applicable);
  • area available for treatment;
  • the soil;
  • crops grown or to be grown in the soil; and
  • all wastes used to treat the land in the previous six months;

(d) the method and intended date of treatment, the quantities of waste to be used and the rate of application;

(e) details of the benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement to be expected from the treatment, including any analysis of the waste or the soil, and management plans;

(f ) the location of any waterway within 15 metres of the land on which the waste is to be spread.

2. The application shall be accompanied by the following documents –

(a) an analysis of the wastes to be used,

(b) an analysis of the soil which is to be treated with the wastes;

(c) an assessment of the risk of pollution caused by the use;

(d) a certificate describing how the treatment will result in benefit to agriculture or the ecological improvement, which shall be prepared or be based upon advice from a person with the appropriate technical or professional expertise.

3. Wastes shall be analysed in relation to the following parameters –

(a) percentage dry solids content;

(b) pH;

(c) conductivity (mS);

(d) total content of major nutrients and readily plant available ammonium-nitrogen with the results expressed on a fresh weight basis;

(e) biochemical oxygen demand; and

(f ) in relation to the types of waste that are listed in the first column of Table 12 in Part III of Schedule 2, the parameters ticked in the remaining columns of the Table.

Interpretation

“Operational Land” has the meaning given by Article 2 of the Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993.

What the legislation says

The full wording of the paragraph 9 exemption can be found in Schedule 2 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (as amended). 

Relevant Objectives in relation to the disposal or recovery of waste are given in paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the Regulations.

More detailed information on this exemption can be found in the full guidance documents below.

If you think that you can meet the requirements of the paragraph 9 exemption and wish to proceed with the registration please contact:

Forms and guidance

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