You are on page 1of 10

Assessing Environmental Impacts of Poultry Farms Supplementary Guidance for IPPC Applications

DRAFT

Pre pare d for: SNIFFER Poultry Case Study Air - (98)18 (extension)

Re port pre pare d by: M J Sharp Environmental Consultant SAC August 2003

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Explanatory Note:

If you have a copy of the example of supporting documentation issued in April / May 2003, the section on environmental impacts (B4.1) will contain references to green, amber and red zones reflecting the significance of predicted impacts from the farm under assessment. This guidance has developed a slightly different approach to that envisaged and references to green, amber and red zones should be ignored.

CONTENTS 1. 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2. INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................3 Why do I need to assess the environmental impacts......................................3 Aim and scope of this guidance .......................................................................3 What will more detailed investigation involve? .............................................3 Basic stages of environmental assessment......................................................3 THE EN VIRONMENTAL IMPACT PROCES S ..........................................5

2.1 S tep 1: Identify activities likely to affect the environment ..........................5 2.2 S tep 2: Determine the effects of emissions on the environment ...................5 2.2.1 Establishing the potential effects of emissions ........................................5 2.2.2 Impacts on human health .........................................................................6 2.3 S tep 3: S ignificance of environmental impacts - identify sensitive receptors.............................................................................................................6 2.4 S tep 4: Assessing the environmental impact..................................................8 2.4.1 Ammonia ....................................................................................................8 2.4.2 Interpreting the ammonia look-up table .................................................8 2.4.3 When will a more detailed study be required?.......................................9 2.5 Reporting your findings ...................................................................................9 3. AMMONIA TABLES .....................................................................................10

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 2 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

1. 1.1

INTRODUCTION Why do I need to assess the environmental impacts The Pollution Prevention and Control (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003 and the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 require you to provide an assessment of the environmental impacts of the emissions from your farm. Questions in Section B4 of the application form ask for an assessment of the potential significant environmental effects of the foreseeable emissions from your installation. A proper assessment of the impacts is necessary to allow appropriate permit conditions to be set and will help to ensure that your installation is operated in a sustainable manner.

1.2

Aim and scope of this guidance Assessing environmental impacts can be a specialised task requiring the input of a number of scientific disciplines. The aim of this guidance is to provide farmers with the information to allow them to make a basic assessment of the environmental impacts without recourse to specialist help. This guidance follows the format set out in the guidance Application for a Permit - Example 1 of Supporting Documentation and aims to provide additional advice on the methods used, based on information you provide about your farm. The scope of this guidance is to provide an initial screening tool that will provide a basic assessment of environmental impacts. Based on farm size and their proximity to sensitive receptors, it will allow you to provide an assessment of impacts from the installation and identify whether further detailed investigation is or is not necessary. It is important to recognise that it is not a substitute for more detailed investigation in cases where farms are located close to sensitive receptors.

1.3

What will more detailed investigation involve? In cases where more detailed investigation is required, emission data and weather data suitable for your location will be measured or estimated, and used in a mathematical atmospheric dispersion model. The model will calculate the spread of the emission, usually ammonia, odours, or small dust particles around the source. M ost models will draw a contour plot around the source. The plot shows the ground level concentrations of the pollutants emitted and these concentrations can be compared with benchmark levels or standards. Atmospheric dispersion modelling services are available commercially.

1.4

Basic stages of environmental assessment The basic stages of assessing the environmental impacts of your installation can be summarised:

Pollution Prevention and Control (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003 and Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000. Application for a Permit - Example of Supporting Documentation. Prepared for SNIFFER Poultry Case Study Air-(98)18

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 3 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

identify the activities of the installation that are likely to affect the environment (the nature and quantity of emissions to air , water and land were established in Part B3.1 of the IPPC application form); identify the potential effects of emissions on resources and receptors. Resources affected are likely to include air, water and soil, receptors may be crops, woodland plants or people affected by the emissions; determine the pathways linking the emission with resources or receptors. Links between the source of pollution, such as animal housing, and the receptor may be direct or indirect. For example, ammonia from fan outlets may have a direct toxic effect on trees nearby. This would be a short term direct effect. Ammonia in the atmosphere falling on sensitive sites downwind of the farm may result in changes over time due to increased nutrients. This would be a long-term indirect effect; predict the likely nature and magnitude of any effects. For example, the impact of any fertilising effects of ammonia on arable land may be negligible, but the same fertilising effect on a semi-natural woodland could be considerable. Spreading litter immediately up-wind of a housing estate could result in a severe but short term impact.

The following sections of this guidance will describe how to apply the above stages using the format in the example documentation.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 4 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. 2.1

THE EN VIRONMENTAL IMPACT PROCES S S tep 1: Identify activities likely to affect the environment Note all the activities you undertake on the farm and consider their potential to adversely affect the environment. The main impacts from poultry rearing are the effects of ammonia, odour and dust emissions from housing, and from land spreading of litter. Other activities such as inappropriate litter utilisation and poor management of the site can result in contaminated run-off entering watercourses and contaminating soil. Because the poultry industry is relatively homogenous in nature, it is practicable to list the main activities likely to affect the environment. The following table lists a range of typical activities and the associated negative environmental impact. You should consider carefully your own situation and include any activity that has a negative environmental impact.
Activit y Rearing in poultr y housing Cleaning hard standing housi ng Incineration of c arcasses Litter utilisation around Negative environmental affect Emission of ammonia, odours and dust to atmos phere and subsequent depositi on on l and. Contaminated run-off entering waterc ourses. Stac k emissions to the atmospher e (SO2, NOx odours), ash build up in soil around incinerator. Emissions of ammonia and odours to atmosphere; surfac e run-off to watercourses ; nutrient enrichment of soil; nitr ate l eac hing from soil, increas e in s oil mineral and metal c ontent. Increas ed traffic, noise and disturbanc e. Noise nuisanc e. Potential for soil and water contamination. Potential for soil and water contamination

Transport operations Noisy operations (feed deli veries etc.) Storage of fuel Disposal of disinfectants

2.2 2.2.1

S tep 2: Determine the effects of emissions on the environment Establishing the potential effects of emissions Quantifying environmental effects is dependant on the number, type and proximity of sensitive receptors, but a generic assessment of the potential effects of emissions can be made by listing the main emissions from the installation and outlining their potential effects on air, water, soil, ecosystems, people etc. The table below provides an example appropriate for the poultry industry, you should include any additional information relevant to your installation.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 5 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Emissions from in stallation and asso ciat ed activities Ammonia

Potential effect on air , wat er, soil, p eople, ecosystem s et c. Possible direct toxic affect on trees clos e to sheds . Nutrient enrichment or fertilising effects on crops, pl ants and water surrounding installation. Increas ed acidificati on of s oil close to s heds. Changes to s ensiti ve ecos ys tems suc h as natural woodland, heathland or peatland. Reduc ed biodi versity. Contributes to greenhouse gases. Contributes to climate change. Contributes to odours Nuisance to r esidents and other users of the locality when at concentrati ons unc haracteristic of the area. Potential for damage to pl ants and trees clos e to sheds . Contributes to odours Potential nutrient enrichment of water. Potential i mpacts on air quality Odour nuis ance. Emission of acid gas es contributing to acid deposition. Increas ed biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of watercours es. N & P levels in excess of crop requirements in soil Nutrient leachi ng to watercourses and groundwater. Eutrophicati on (nutrient enrichment) of watercours es and ground water. Potential for increased mi neral and metal content of soils Noise creati ng nuisance for loc al residents and altering the character of rural environments. Contamination of watercourses or soil killing fish and invertebrates.

Odours

Dust

Stac k emissions from inci nerators

Run-off c ontaminated with organic matter i.e. from litter or contaminated areas around housi ng.

Noise Fuel/chemic al spillage

2.2.2

Impacts on human health You should also consider the effects of emissions on humans. Emissions such as dust, odours and noise all have the potential to cause pollution (as defined in the regulations) and harm human health or cause offence if contact is prolonged and exposure is excessive. Provided the installation has been sited appropriately, it should be sufficiently remote from people to avoid adverse impacts on health, but you should consider the possibility and give details of any circumstances where impacts on health may occur. S tep 3: S ignificance of environmental impacts - identify sensitive receptors The effects of emissions from your installation can be varied and depend to a large degree on the type and proximity of sensitive receptors to your installation. It is therefore important to establish the number and nature of any sensitive receptors located around your installation. Emissions from large poultry farms can cause adverse impacts at some distance from the farm. For this reason it is important that you establish whether there are any sensitive

2.3

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 6 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

receptors within a radius of 2km from the installation. Sensitive receptors can be statutory designated areas such as: Areas (or Sites) of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI/SSSI); National Nature Reserves (NNR); Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA); local environmental assets such as Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). European sites are particularly important as these have the highest level of statutory protection. You must determine if emissions from your installation are likely to affect sites with a conservation designation (made or proposed) under the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations (NI) 1995 or in Scotland the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994. These are known as European sites and include: Special Areas of Conservation (SAC); Special Protection Areas (SPA); Some A SSI/SSSIs are potential European sites. In Northern Ireland the Environment and Heritage Service can provide advice on designated sites (www.ehsni.gov.uk) and Scottish Natural Heritage can provide advice in Scotland (www.snh.org.uk) Statutory designated sites are not the only sensitive receptors, you should consider the proximity of private dwellings, schools, business premises and so on as well. Whereas ammonia is the most important emission to consider on designated sites, odours and dust are more important for dwellings. Once you have established whether there are any statutory designated sites within 2 km of your installation you should investigate the surrounding area for potentially sensitive receptors such as housing, woodland etc. Record your findings, the Table below provides an example of how this could be done by recording receptors in zones at 500m increments from the installation. Ensure that you give details of any sensitive receptors that are designated sites.
Sensiti ve receptors Dwelling houses Business premises Schools, hospitals etc Coniferous Fores t Deciduous Fores t (designated as ASSI Name, ref) Dry Heathland Wet H eathland Semi - natural grassland Loughs/ponds Streams/rivers Fenland Bogs Other designated area (give details) within 500 m Y N N N N Proxi mity z ones to installation 501 - 1000 m 1001 - 1500 m N Y Y Y N N N Y N Y 1501 - 2000 m Y N N N Y

N N N N N N N

N N N Y Y N N

N N N N Y N N

N Y Y N Y N N

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 7 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.4

S tep 4: Assessing the environmental impact During steps 1 - 3 the following information has been gathered: farming activities and their associated negative environmental effects; potential effects of emissions; sensitive receptors within 2km of the installation.

2.4.1

Ammonia Step four provides a basic method to quantify the environmental impacts from the installation. The most significant emission affecting sensitive ecosystems is ammonia. Ammonia is dispersed down wind and deposited on vegetation. Usually it is the fertilising effect of the nitrogen component that causes long term damage or changes to sensitive ecosystems. This happens when a critical load of nitrogen is exceeded. Emissions from the installation will contribute some nitrogen, whilst other sources (e.g. other agricultural activity) will contribute to a background level. The contribution from your farm is known as the process contribution, and is added to the contribution from other sources, i.e. the background level. It is important that the contribution from the installation plus the existing background level do not exceed 2 published critical loads . To allow a basic assessment of the contribution of ammonia coming from your installation i.e. the process contribution, a look-up table is provided in Section 3 below. To use the Table, follow the procedure below:
[IMPORTANT NOTE: The ammonia Tables have been determined using meteorological data for specific areas, ensure the Table is appropriate f or your location. Inf ormation is provided in each Table]

1. Select the appropriate table, i.e. for sheds having roof mounted fans, or sheds having wall mounted fans or automatically controlled natural ventilation (ACNV). 2. Identify your farm size in terms of numbers of birds in the left hand column. If your farm is between the ranges given, use the next larger size. 3. Establish (from the Table prepared in Step 3) the distances of the ammonia sensitive receptors from your farm. 4. M ake a note of the value in the corresponding box in the table for your farm size and the distance of each ammonia sensitive receptor. Data for two main types of sensitive receptor are provided, bogs and woodland. 2.4.2 Interpreting the ammonia look-up table The value in the box corresponding to a farm size and the distance to two main types of sensitive receptors, bogs or woodland, is an estimate of the amount of nitrogen (dry deposition) that the receptor will receive from the installation in
Impacts of Nitrogen on Terrestrial Ecosystems. Report of: The United Kingdom Review Group on Impacts of Atmospheric Nitrogen. Department of the Environment. October 1994. ISBN 1 870393 22 8

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 8 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

kg N ha-1 year-1. This is the process contribution, it does not include the background levels. To get a more realistic estimate of the environmental impact the process contribution is added to the background level. Data for back ground levels are currently being collated, monitoring is in progress and data will be made available in the future. You should therefore use the ammonia table to determine the process contribution from your installation at sensitive receptors and provide this figure in your application, along with details of any receptors (from Step 3 above). The value should be lower than the lower limit of the critical loads shown below. You should note that in some locations background levels may be high and already exceed critical loads before the process contribution is added. Critical loads for bogs and woodland
Receptor Bogs Woodland Critical Lo ad, kg N h a-1 yr-1 5 - 10 15 - 20

2.4.3

When will a more detailed study be required? Detailed information on background levels is currently being assessed, the following should be regarded as general guidance. In determining whether a more detailed study will be necessary the Regulator will consider a number of factors including the importance of the sensitive receptors, and the size, type and operation of installation proposed. Reporting your findings Once you have established from the above procedures the extent of the environmental impacts from your installation, and whether more detailed investigation is necessary, you should report your findings. The example of supporting documentation provides an indication of the degree of detail required, and you may find it helpful to provide a summary of the environmental impacts in zones from the installation, e.g. 501 - 1000m etc. In cases where you judge environmental impacts to be not significant, you should state the rational for this. An example might be woodland close to poultry housing that receives dust deposition and large quantities of nitrogen from ammonia emissions. If that woodland had been planted specifically to screen the sheds, it is of less environmental significance than, for example, an area of semi-natural woodland.

2.5

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 9 of 10

Assessing environmental impacts of poultry farms. Supplementary guidance for IPPC applications Prepared for SNIFFER project Air-(98)18 (extension). DRAFT August 2003 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

3.

AMMONIA TABLES
Distance 1000m Dry depositi on, Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 woodland, kg N -1 year ha-1 year -1 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.9 3.1 from Farm Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 year -1 1500m Dry depositi on, woodland, kg N ha-1 year -1 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.7 1.9 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.9 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.8 Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 year -1 2000m Dry depositi on, woodland, kg N ha-1 year -1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.7 1.9

Housing with roof mounte d fans [IMPORTANT NOTE: This table is based on meteorological data appropriate f or Northern Ireland only]
Farm siz e (bird places) 500m Dry depositi on, Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 woodland, kg N -1 year ha-1 year -1 1.5 2.2 2.9 3.6 4.4 5.1 5.8 6.5 7.3 8.0 8.7 2.2 3.3 4.4 5.5 6.5 7.6 8.7 9.8 10.9 12.0 13.1

40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 140,000 160,000 180,000 200,000 220,000 240,000

0.8 1.2 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.7 3.1 3.5 3.9 4.3 4.7

Housing with wall mounte d fans or ACNV [IMPORTANT NOTE: This table is based on meteorological data appropriate f or Northern Ireland only]
Farm siz e (bird places) 500m Dry depositi on, Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 woodland, kg N -1 year ha-1 year -1 5.6 8.4 11.2 14.0 16.8 19.6 22.4 25.2 28.0 30.8 33.6 8.4 12.6 16.8 21.0 25.2 29.4 33.6 37.8 42.0 46.3 50.5 Distance 1000m Dry depositi on, Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 woodland, kg N -1 year ha-1 year -1 1.6 2.3 3.1 3.9 4.7 5.5 6.2 7.0 7.8 8.6 9.3 from Farm Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 year -1 1500m Dry depositi on, woodland, kg N ha-1 year -1 0.8 1.2 1.7 2.1 2.5 2.9 3.3 3.7 4.2 4.6 5.0 1.2 1.9 2.5 3.1 3.7 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.2 6.9 7.5 Dry depositi on, bogs, kg N ha-1 year -1 2000m Dry depositi on, woodland, kg N ha-1 year -1 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.9 3.1 0.8 1.2 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.7 3.1 3.5 3.9 4.3 4.7

40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 140,000 160,000 180,000 200,000 220,000 240,000

2.3 3.5 4.7 5.8 7.0 8.2 9.3 10.5 11.7 12.8 14.0

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 10 of 10