The Regional Department for Ecological Transition and Sustainability of the Government of Extremadura has ruled in favor of modifying the Integrated Environmental Authorization (IEA) of the new plant, imposing stricter requirements on air pollution.
IIDMA identified two concerning aspects regarding the biomass plant: the lack of Emission Limit Values for certain pollutants and the absence of conditions for monitoring and inspection necessary to ensure a minimum frequency of monitoring atmospheric emissions from these substances.
Madrid, July 12 – The new biomass plant in Logrosán, located in Extremadura, will be subject to stricter environmental requirements as a result of an appeal filed by the International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA) on February 23 against the environmental authorization granted by the Government of Extremadura earlier this year. This measure has been recently confirmed by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Sustainability of the Government of Extremadura. Consequently, the Administration has ordered the modification of the Integrated Environmental Authorization (IEA) of the plant to ensure compliance with the Emission Limit Values (ELVs) for certain pollutants. Additionally, thanks to the appeal filed by the Institute, monitoring and inspection measures will be implemented to ensure proper monitoring of atmospheric emissions from these substances.
The new 50 MWe biomass plant in Logrosán, a project developed by Desarrollos Renovables Eólicos y Solares S.L.U, aims to generate electricity from renewable sources through the combustion of solid biomass, primarily from forestry sources (100%) or a mixture of forestry biomass (90%) and industrial agricultural biomass (10%), using resources from the Autonomous Community of Extremadura. For its operations, the new facility was required to comply with measures aimed at protecting and controlling atmospheric pollution resulting from the combustion process, as well as monitoring and inspection measures to measure the concentrations of these substances.
However, the IIDMA found that the initial administrative authorization did not include atmospheric ELVs for certain harmful pollutants to human health and the environment, such as gaseous chlorides (HCl), inorganic gaseous fluorinated compounds (HF), mercury (Hg), and ammonia (NH3). The emission of such gases into the atmosphere is regulated and limited by the Industrial Emissions Directive (Directive 2010/75/EU) and the Document on Best Available Techniques for Large Combustion Plants (Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/2326), which are mandatory for the plant to comply with. Furthermore, there was an absence of appropriate mandatory monitoring and inspection conditions to measure the concentrations of these pollutants, which, among other requirements, include continuous monitoring of gaseous chloride (HCl) and ammonia (NH3) emissions.
In response to these deficiencies, IIDMA requested the Administration to modify and include the necessary conditions in the permit to comply with the required ELVs and to ensure their proper monitoring. The Administration has acknowledged the identified non-compliances and has ordered the modification of the IEA of the biomass plant, in accordance with European environmental legislation.
“IIDMA has been working for years to ensure that electricity generation facilities operate with permits adapted to the requirements of current environmental legislation. Despite being considered a renewable source, electricity production from the combustion of solid biomass also has significant implications for atmospheric pollution that must be controlled and limited by the Administration, in addition to ensuring that the forest resource used comes from sustainable management,” explains Alba Iranzo, environmental lawyer at IIDMA.
As a result of IIDMA’s intervention, the biomass plant in Logrosán will adapt to stricter environmental requirements to control atmospheric pollution resulting from the plant’s activities while promoting the development of renewable energy in the Extremadura region.