Consolidation and review of environmental permit for Chirk 'Kronospan' Particleboard factory
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.
NRW have now completed the variation and consolidation of the two regulators’ permits and issued the operator with a consolidated permit on 4th October 2022. This means that NRW has now become the single environmental regulator for the site and will conduct all future regulatory functions in relation to the permit.
The variation notice, consolidated permit and our detailed decision document are held on our online public register.
The consolidated permit includes a number of improvement conditions for the operator to implement over the next 18 months. We will be working closely with them to ensure that these improvements are made.
Most recently we have varied the consolidated permit to incorporate a regulator led review for activities against recently published BAT for specific industry sectors. Further variations to the permit will be made to keep it up to date.
As with all operational sites and permits, we are aware that the operator will wish to vary their activities and as such their permit. They must do this by submitting a variation application to NRW with their proposals. We will follow our Public Participation Statement in having regard to public consultation for any operator applications.