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Even if combustion plants, such as furnaces and boilers, are too small to fall under the requirements of the Environmental Permitting Programme (EPP) in England and Wales and the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regimes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, there are still controls of emissions of smoke through provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
For many plants, emissions of grit and dust will fall under the Medium Combustion Plants Directive, which will be managed through the existing permitting programmes.
The same laws also include provisions for controlling emissions of particulate matter from fireplace and stoves which burn coal or wood.
The emissions of particulate matter from small combustion plants are primarily controlled through restrictions on the density of smoke, dust and grit that such plants emit, and the heights of chimneys in order to disperse any emissions sufficiently so that their impacts are negligible.
Additionally, local authorities can designate areas at risk of poor air quality as Smoke Control Areas or smokeless zones. In these areas, users of boilers, fireplaces and stoves have to use fuels and appliances which are authorised.
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