Consolidation and review of environmental permit for Chirk 'Kronospan' Particleboard factory

Background

Kronospan Limited have been operating a particleboard and medium density fibreboard (MDF) manufacturing plant in Chirk, North Wales for many years. The activities involved in manufacturing the boards have required several environmental permits to control the levels of potentially harmful emissions resulting from the activities and to ensure that the techniques used are in line with technical advances and industry standards. These standards are known as ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT).

The activities at the Installation (site) that are regulated by the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 (EPR) have been the subject of various Directions from Government. Most notably, the first Direction was in 2003 which split that regulation between Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) and the Environment Agency Wales (now subsumed into Natural Resources Wales (NRW)).

In March 2018 the Welsh Government issued a further Direction (the ‘2018 Direction’) which required NRW to consolidate the two existing permits for the site into one, and then subsequently conduct all regulatory functions in relation to that permit.

This will essentially ‘normalise’ the regulation of the site, in that all relevant activities will be regulated by a single environmental regulator, NRW. After the consolidated permit is issued, WCBC will no longer regulate activities at the site, which will no longer be subject to a Ministerial Direction.

Draft permit variation and consolidation 

NRW have completed the variation and consolidation of the two regulators’ permits into a draft for review and public consultation.

We have completed our extensive determination of activities and through the course of our scrutiny, we have requested a significant amount of further information from the operator to carry out our detailed assessments.  Our final request was for the operator to submit a fully consolidated air dispersion modelling report, so that we could audit predicted releases from the whole site, including from plant and process investments at the site since October 2014, when the current version of the WCBC permit was issued.  This provides a baseline for all emissions to air from the whole site which allowed us to carry out a full human health and ecological assessment of releases to air from the site.

The consolidated draft permit also brings about a full review of conditions and limits to ensure compliance with EPR, the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and BAT.

Note - Kronospan’s original variation application also contained a proposal for a new oriented strand board (OSB) production line, which does not form part of the current determination and hence variation notice and consolidated draft permit.

Public consultation

The online consultation hub will go live on 16 June and will be open for 4 weeks, until to 17 July.

The variation notice, consolidated draft permit and our draft detailed decision document have been placed on the public register for consultation.

You can see these documents free of charge, through our on-line public register. Search for the documents using the reference BW9999IG-V008 and sort by date order. Or you can request a copy of the documents from us via enquiries@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk. This may take time to process and there could be a charge.

Our Public Participation Statement can be viewed on our website. This explains why we consult and how the consultation fits into our decision-making progress. Reading this statement, along with the variation notice, consolidated draft permit and our draft detailed decision document will allow you to respond to the consultation.

We will be holding face to face drop-in sessions at Chirk Town Hall on Tuesday 28 June between 2pm to 8pm, and Wednesday 29 June between 10am to 4pm. Appointments must be booked in advance by Sunday 26 June using links below. You will be given a 15 minute slot to talk to staff within a half hour window.

Or by calling 0300 065 3383 within office hours by 3pm Friday 24 June.

During your appointment, you will be given the opportunity to raise any queries you have regarding the draft permit and decision document. You will get more out of your appointment if you have previewed these documents, along with our public participation statement. These documents may answer some of your questions or trigger further questions.  

Responses to the consultation can be submitted via our online consultation hub.

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