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Biomass: Air Pollution

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by what mechanisms emissions from biomass boilers will be made compliant with his Department’s Air Quality Strategy. (322265)

The aim of the air quality strategy for the UK is to protect public health by providing mechanisms for compliance with a number of air pollution concentration objectives.

The impact of emissions of biomass boilers on air concentrations of pollutants will depend on the dispersion characteristics of the installations and the number of installations affecting any particular location. Guidance has been provided to local authorities, through the British Standards Institution and the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers on how to apply good design and placement of chimney location and exit height to prevent significant impacts of units on air quality.

Local authorities, in order to protect public health, have a number of existing powers to guide the outcome of developments incorporating biomass boilers through both the planning system and powers under the Clean Air Act 1993. Taken together with the Renewable Heat Incentive, which encourages the uptake of cleaner appliances, the impact of biomass boilers on air quality should be managed to avoid concentrations in excess of air quality objectives.