Cement producers have labeled new Environment Agency rules on using alternative fuels in cement kilns a "mixed bag" They claimed that revisions to the Substitute Fuels Protocol will lengthen the process of granting permits to use alternative fuels unnecessarily.
The agency launched its proposals to improve environmental controls on cement and lime kilns at its board meeting last week. It claimed the move would reduce air pollution around kilns and protect public health.
But cement producers said some of its proposals were redundant.
Speaking to local press after last Wednesday’s board meeting Iain Walpole, environment manager at Birmingham-based producer Castle Cement, said: "The key concern is that the overall process for gaining approval to use an alternative fuel from idea to inception is too long."
He cited the agency’s call to consult with the public over any plans to change the fuel burned at a cement plant as one particular factor that would lengthen the process.
He said: "The industry is doing that before we apply for a fuel change permit anyway."
But Mr Walpole welcomed moves by the agency to cut back on the number of materials banned from use as fuels in kilns.
He said: "There were some exclusions as to what we could use as fuels and this number has been reduced. Also the minimum calorific value requirement for waste burnt as fuels has been dropped."