December 2021

Welcome to our December 2021 newsletter. This month we have a number of topics to discuss with you:

  • Two new versions of the UK’s WM3 guidance
  • Impact of the bifurcation – New classification engines WM3 v1.2.GB and WM3 v1.1.NI
  • Changing Registered Users
  • Changes to subscription rates from 1st Jan 2022
  • .hwol labs – New labs
  • WAC, mineral oil & its HWOL Acronyms

New versions of the UK WM3 Guidance

At the end of October, the UK government released a new version of the Technical guidance WM3: Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste (1st edition v1.2. GB) which we abbreviate to WM3 v1.2.GB – This guidance replaces WM3 v1.1.GB. The Northern Ireland version, WM3 v1.1. NI is unchanged.

  • WM3 v1.1.GB reflected the changes to the chemicals legislation as a consequence of the UK’s EU exit, in particular the replacement of the EU CLP Regulation with the GB CLP Regulation (EU retained law) and references to European institutions (eg European Chemicals Agency) being replaced by UK institutions (HSE). In particular, the CLP’s Appendix VI, Table 3 (contains all the substances – the harmonised entries) being replaced by the GB Mandatory Classification and Labelling list (MCL list). This GB guidance has to be used in England, Wales and Scotland.
  • WM3 v1.2.GB replaces WM3 v1.1.GB and contains an update to appendix B to reflect the need to consider the specific form/physical state of a substance if it is included under the CLP Regulations as an entry in the MCL list.
  • WM3 v1.1.NI also reflects EU exit. However, it’s effectively the same document as WM3 v1.1.GB as the EU CLP remains in force in Northern Ireland. This means that classifiers in Northern Ireland continue to use the harmonised entries in Table 3 of the CLP and follow updates from ATPs.

Impact of the UK WM3 bifurcation – New classification engines WM3 v1.2.GB and WM3 v1.1.NI

(See also the HazWasteOnline Wiki – search for or select “Classification Engines”)

Although the rules, thresholds and data for classification in either Great Britain or Northern Ireland are currently exactly the same (specific form/physical state in MCL excepted), the data sets will start to diverge in future years. ATP 17 (Regulation (EU) 2021/849), published March 2021 and entering into force on 17th December 2022, will impact classifiers in NI and the other EU nations, as it modifies the EU CLP’s Table 3. However ATP 17 (and all future ATPs) will not update the GB MCL list. Instead, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will review ECHA’s published Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) opinions of substances (these opinions precede the substances publication in an ATP) and decide whether to accept the RAC opinion or not)

HSE plan to publish annual updates to substances in the GB MCL list. From the reviews completed to date and other chemicals that the HSE are assessing, it is already evident that some of these updates will differ from those published in the EU’s ATP.

HazWasteOnline classification engine change
To stay ahead of future changes in either the substance data (Harmonised Vs Mandatory entries) or potential differences in some of the rules, we have built two new classification engines:

  • WM3 v1.2.GB for use in England, Wales and Scotland; This engine uses the GB MCL list dataset.
  • WM3 v1.1.NI for use in Northern Ireland and by other EU customers who follow the WM3 approach; This engine continues to use the EU CLP Table 3 dataset.

Impact on subscribers, GB, NI and EU nations
We have been through our database to try identify all those companies based in Northern Ireland as opposed to those primrily based in Great Britain. (If you feel that we miss-categorised you, please contact us.)

  1. Companies based in NI

If your company is based in NI, the next time you login and create a new job, the example template for soils will default to WM3 V1.1.NI. If you open an old job, you will be advised to change the classification engine from the old WM3 v1.1 engine to the new WM3 v1.1.NI engine. If you create a new job with one of your waste stream templates, it will recommend that you upgrade the template to the WM3 v1.1.NI classification engine.

We would recommend that customers review all their old waste stream templates and for those templates that need to be kept, change the classification engine to WM3 v1.1.NI.

      2. Companies based in GB
The same process as described in #1 will occur for classifiers based in Great Britain, except you will utilise the WM3 v1.2.GB classification engine.

       3. Companies based in EU who licence the WM3 v1.1 classification engine
The same process as #1 again will occur for classifiers based in EU countries; the WM3 v1.1 engine will be replaced by the WM3 v1.1.NI classification engine.

     4. Companies based in the EU who licence the EU classification engine
There is no change to the workings of the EU/2018/C 124 + HP14 EU/2017/997 classification engine – except we have shortened its name to a more manageable EU/2018/C 124/01.

Note that the main difference between the WM3 and EU engines is that the EU guidance (and hence the engine) has no recognition of “unknown oil”  because unkown oil is not a commercial substance. There are no differences in thresholds or the rules needed to assess the different hazard properties. There are differences in the interpretations of some mirror and absolute List of Waste entries – a list can be found in the HazWasteOnline Wiki (search term: 2018/C).

Implications – Where you might need 2 classification engines
There are three scenarios where a company might need two or more engines:

  1. If a stakeholder intends to move the waste from GB to NI, or vice-versa, then the classifier will need to use the relevant engine for the relevant jurisdiction.
  2. If a customer has classifiers working in both GB and in NI, they will need both engines.
  3. If a stakeholder wants to move waste from GB or NI to another EU nation, or vice-versa, the classifier will need to licence an engine for that destination country.

The cost of a licence for an extra engine is £300 per annum. Licences can be added at any time.

Changing registered Users

As you know, user licences have to be registered to a named user and their name appears on the reports alongside their training certification. Under our Master Service Agreement, a Registered User is not allowed to share their username/password with another party. Our licences are not office licences and sharing a U&P breaks both our T&C’s under which the service is provided and also destroys the auditability/traceability of the classification report (QA/QC).

Companies can easily change their Registered Users when circumstances change – for example when a Registered User leaves the company, goes on maternity leave/paternity leave or their role in the business changes. Swapping the licence to another person is easy; simply send us an email asking us to swap out Registered User x for new Registered User Y along with the new users full name, email address, office address and contact number. We would normally make the change the same day.

Changes to subscription rates from 1st January 2022

We haven’t increased our subscription rates since 2015. Unfortunately we are now seeing significant increases in costs and have taken the decision to raise our subscription rates for HazWasteOnline by 10%. Training courses rates will go up by 3.5%. These increases will affect all purchases made after the 31st December 2021.

HWOL labs

We are pleased to let you know that three more labs: ELAB, Envirolab and Socotec have joined the .hwol ranks. They also publish the HWOL acronym system for understanding “TPH” on their PDF reports. The full list of .hwol data file providers and their status is shown in the table below.

*DETS will only provide the HWOL Acronyms on reports where they have identified the customer as a “waste” customer. The HWOL acronyms won’t appear on other types of lab reports, such as those for SI customers, unless the purchaser specifically asks for it.

The HWOL acronym system helps all users of “TPH” data to better understand what type of “TPH” testing was carried out on their sample. The HWOL Acronym helps to ensure that the purchased “TPH” test is fit for purpose, in particular whether there has been any type of clean-up to remove non-petroleum hydrocarbons, such as humics in soils or fatty acids in certain filter cakes.

The following links provide information about the HWOL Acronym System:

WAC, mineral oil & its HWOL Acronyms

During our work to better understand the different types of “TPH” testing that the labs offer (which led to the development of the HWOL Acronym System), we found that many workers are purchasing the wrong “TPH” test or not understanding what type of “TPH” testing the lab has actually done and what is optimum for waste classification.  (Please read our white paper to learn more.)

One of the discrepancies is the test for mineral oil test in WAC.  We found that about half the labs’ mineral oil was EH_1D_Total  (i.e. all hydrocarbons extracted from your soil including the naturally occurring humics) while other labs were doing a clean-up stage i.e. EH_CU_1D_Al to remove both aromatics and non-petroleum hydrocarbons such as the humics. (If you have ever wondered why your TPH-CWG was low but your mineral oil result above the 500mg/kg WAC threshold, this may explain why.)

Decision 2003/33/EC (the legislation that also documents all the WAC thresholds), does reference BS EN 14039:2004 for the assessment of hydrocarbons. This “TPH” test describes a cleaned-up “TPH” test and assessment of just the aliphatics – i.e.  EH_CU_1D_AL. Below is an example from ELAB with the HWOL Acronyms shown in green.

Since we have raised this issue with the labs, most have or are in the process of changing their WAC mineral oil methodology to better meet this standard. We recommend that all users of WAC data should check the HWOL Acronyms for their WAC mineral oil result and make sure it is cleaned-up.