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.

You can also still submit comments to the Red Tape Challenge inbox by clicking here.

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

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    Tony Higgins said on September 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

    the european directives that are implemented in this legislation are prescriptive as to the the content. The framework legislation in place is there to ensure a consistent approach to regulation across europe. failure to implement the directives and the forthcoming Industrial Emissions Directive will leave the country liable to fines. The current legislation is clear and implements the directives it should therefore remain.

    in terms of pollution control that the legislation and permits create, the main issue for the larger A1 installations (patrticularly waste) is that land use planning consent is required before the permit can be granted. This can and does involve lengthy delays in permitting. Requiring planning applicants to hold a permit before applying for planning permission would streamline the process of acquiring consent to operate as it would remove the environmental reasons for refusal in the planning process, whihc would be dealt with up front by the permit.

    the ‘burden’ imposed by the permit is to meet baseline environmental performance standards, if the operator meets those standards then their risk rating is low, and the cost of regulation minimal. If compliance is not achieved then the burden becomes heavier both in financial and work terms. It is not appropriate to de-regulate permitting purely to faciliate the non compliance of some.

    Enforcement is risk based – the amount of proactive inspection necessary is directly proportional to the level of risk, this is in the hands of the operator to determine.

    Comment Tags: enforcement, permits, planning

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