Online consultation on Oxford Flood Alleviation scheme opens

With an estimated 4,500 homes in Oxford at risk of flooding each year, along with major roads, railway lines, schools and businesses, the 2016 announcement of a Flood Alleviation Scheme was very welcome news. A number of events were held in May to allow the public access to information about the scheme and now the online consultation has been launched. The consultation runs until 20 July 2017 and asks for your views about the scheme in general and, specifically, some … Continued

The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation – will it affect your business?

Overview Conflict minerals are linked to human rights abuses and armed conflict in some parts of the world. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has long been working to improve sourcing of these materials to ‘help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral sourcing practices’.[1] In support of this work, on Friday 19th May 2017, the long awaited EU Conflict Minerals Regulation[2] was published. The majority of the obligations arising come into force … Continued

New Secretary of State for the Environment

Michael Gove has replaced Andrea Leadsom as Secretary of State for the Environment (SoS). Gove has previously called himself a ‘shy green’. it is to be hoped that he becomes more outgoing – and quickly. Brexit presents many challenges to many areas of life in the UK. Whilst immigration, economics and trade are all very much in the public consciousness, this is less true of environmental concerns. Nevertheless, Brexit presents a unique opportunity for the UK to take great strides … Continued

“Systematic failure in the waste management sector”?

Background In 2014, the Environmental Services Association Education Trust published a damning report on the state of waste crime. Now they have followed it up with a second report – Rethinking Waste Crime – which suggests that despite the best efforts of the wast industry, weak regulation is allowing waste crime to flourish. Key findings The research, carried out by Eunomia, identifies six categories of waste crime and reports that businesses are the prime generators, primarily because they benefit by … Continued

European Commission urges the UK to make a big effort on renewables

According to the Key Indicators report section of the European Commission’s second Report on the State of the Energy Union, the United Kingdom is one of four Member States needing to make ‘the biggest effort’ in order to meet 202 renewable energy tartgets laid down in the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC). The main report, which has a number of supplementary reports, notes that 2016 saw the framework strategy strengthened by both legislative and non-legislative initiatives and acknowledged the importance … Continued

Four new substances on REACH candidate list

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have published details of four new substances added to the list of Candidate Substances. BOMCheck have released a YouTube video giving more details of where you might find (or not as the case may be) the four substances (p-(1,1-dimethylpropyl)phenol, Nonadecafluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and its sodium and ammonium salts,  4-heptylphenol, branched and linear and 4,4′-isopropylidenediphenol) in your products. The details start at 03:40 and end at 10:19. if you need to know whether, and how, the … Continued

BREXIT opportunities for increased environmental protection

A new report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has identified potential weaknesses in the proposed transfer of environmental protection laws under the Great Repeal Bill – recently heard described as the GERBill – Great European Repel Bill! The report – The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum – runs to 55 pages and makes seven key recommendations, the first of which is that the Government should commit to creating a new Environmental Protection Act … Continued

New Environmental Permitting Regulations come into force

As 2017 starts, new environmental permitting regulations will come into force in England and Wales, consolidating six years of amendments and introducing new rules for the T17 exemption available for mobile crushing of lamps containing Mercury. At 292 pages, the Regulations are extensive and cover a wide range of activities requiring permits, registered or unregistered exemptions and transpose provisions of 15 separate EU Directives. A review of the Regulations is mandated to take place before the end of April 2019, … Continued

Brexit – So we are leaving the EU… what happens now?

Brexit is a reality; the general populace has voted to leave the EU and so, whichever side of the debate you were on initially, we must now all work together to adapt to a new status for the UK, which may or may not fracture. It is time, once more, to rollout the war time advice of ‘keep calm and carry on’. Keep Calm… Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions. LIttle will change permanently overnight. There will, of … Continued

Government shake up of regulators

Departmental Secretaries Elizabeth Truss (Environment) and Sajid Javid (Business) yesterday confirmed that the BIS Environmental Regulation Team is to move into the Defra Environmental Quality Directorate. David Cameron announced the publication of a ‘Machinery of Government change’ ministerial statement, giving the date of the change as 1 April 2016. Environmental Regulation is split between a number of bodies at present; including the four UK enforcement agencies, the Health and Safety Executive, BIS, Defra, local authority trading standards departments,  and the … Continued