The Environment Agency will be contacting permitted pig and poultry farms in February via letter to inform operators that their permit is due to be reviewed and updated.
To ensure your permit is fully up to date and that you can meet the required techniques, the EA must conduct a review and update your permit.
The EA anticipates that they can mostly use the information they already hold about your farm. The charge for this review will be a variation fee of £380. The NFU said it lobbied hard during the charges consultation process to bring this down from the original proposal of £2,406.
The environmental permit requires operators to farm using Best Available Techniques (BAT). BAT is reviewed and updated periodically through the BAT Reference Document (BREF) for the Intensive Rearing of Poultry or Pigs (Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/65/EU).
A new version of the BREF was released in 2017 and this contains a series of BAT conclusions. The EA states that you need to be compliant by 21 February 2021.
The BAT conclusions were published on 21 February 2017. All permitted farms need to be compliant with the new BAT conclusions within four years of this date. The EA believes that by complying with your existing permit requirements, for the most part, you will already be meeting most of the newly revised techniques.
However, there are some additional requirements that apply to all farms, primarily around reporting emissions and in some instances requirements for new housing.
The NFU has advised if you are considering building new sheds or facilities, expanding or changing your operation please speak to your site officer to check what the new requirements are.