Environmental permits, information and damage


This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

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The environmental permitting regulations set the operating conditions for businesses through a permitting framework. Its risk based approach includes a hierarchy of permits from those that are tailor made for larger, more risky operations to simple registrations and exemptions from permitting for less risky operations. Permitting operations include industrial installations, mobile plant waste and extractive waste, those discharging to water and/or groundwater and radioactive substances activities.

The environmental information regulations aim to involve the public in environmental matters by giving them the right of access to environmental information held by public authorities.

The environmental damage regulations oblige operators to take steps to prevent serious environmental damage from occurring or, where it does occur, to make good such damage in line with the polluter pays principle.

You can find 3 regulations that relate to environmental permits, information and damage below to the left.

Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs)

Increase access to environmental information in order to increase public participation in environmental decision-making, inform debate, and increase awareness of environmental matters.

EU regulation

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Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010

The Regulations provide a risk based framework to control activities that could cause pollution.

 UK regulation

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Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009

The regulations place obligations on operators to make good serious cases of damage to the environment, transposing the provisions of the EU Environmental Liability Directive.

 UK regulation

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Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

For example, you might consider how the application process for permits could be further improved or the requirements for smaller businesses further simplified.

119 responses to Environmental permits, information and damage

  • Louisa said on February 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Understanding why legislation is in place or why you are required to obtain a permit is key to alleviating the ‘red tape experience’. The word of the law is only as good as the application of that law and how it transfers to the people that matter (i.e. those who are involved in the activity as part of their job). I think this applies to all industries and all activities that require regulation and/or permits. Environmental law, however, is particularly fast-evolving leaving many who are subject to it with that familiar “great, another piece of paperwork to process” feeling. At the base level, this is really all to do with training, people need to understand why they are filling out forms and applying for permits in order to see that it is worth doing. For me, it’s not a question of whether regulations should be in place but, rather, it’s a question of linking the people who make them coherently to the people who are responsible for carrying them out. This includes translating what they really mean for the individual, their company and the environment. When new regulations are put in place there needs to be greater clarification on the meaning of it and a greater effort to communicate this to the people who are affected by it.

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