The UK Government has been asked by the European Commission to change its end-of-waste criteria for waste oils.
It is concerned that UK criteria allows contaminants to remain in high concentrations, and has called on the UK to reply to it within two months or face legal action at the European Union Court of Justice.
In a statement, the European Commission said: “Under UK end-of-waste criteria, processed fuel oils may be used like virgin equivalent fuel oils.
“The Commission is concerned that these criteria allow certain contaminants to remain in high concentrations, and that these contaminants are then released during combustion, threatening human health and the environment.
“Standard combustion plants, unlike waste incineration plants, are not necessarily equipped with technologies to remove pollutants contained in emissions from processed fuel oils such as heavy metals, hydrogen chloride and halogens.”