ENVIRONMENT

 

Talking about Waste Transfer Note reforms, Bernard Amos, CEO said, “The edoc system is a brilliant idea. We are moving towards paper-free ways of doing business and this makes perfect sense. It’s quicker, easier to trace, will help prevent fraud and saves huge amounts of time. We work with well over a quarter of a million paper waste transfer notes and edoc will save our teams a great deal of time releasing them to focus on our core business.”

Bernard Amos, CEO at Helistrat

“Contaminated sites do affect people and many “problem” sites are orphan sites or being left due to problems of cost of achieving consensus between regulator and regulated. The concern over red tape is often not the regulations themselves but the implementation. What is needed is clarity and efficient ways of meeting regulatory requirements…To improve regulation clearer guidance is required.”

RTC Website Respondent

“Please revoke this legislation! The [Site Waste Management Plans] regulations were stated as aiming to reduce flytipping and to reduce waste to landfill, but they have failed miserably on both counts…Large companies who operate sites with a value of over £300k and who are affected by the regulations will have a dedicated team managing waste as part of their Environmental Management Systems…The SWMP regulations are a bureaucratic burden that only serve to hinder good waste management practices…these reviews do nothing other than waste time which could be spent proactively reducing waste generated through more useful activities such as training employees.”

RTC Website Respondent

“We are required to provide a battery collection service. We are a small business and collect only a few batteries…We therefore have to wait years until we have sufficient volume of batteries to be collected by one of the battery collection companies.”

RTC Website Respondent

We are committed to growing the economy and improving the environment by ensuring our environmental policies are implemented effectively and our regulations are not strangling businesses and others with red tape.

Outcomes of the Environment Red Tape Challenge theme

Simpler and smarter environment regulations will provide savings to business of more than £1billion over five years and protect the environment by being cheaper and easier for companies to follow.

67 regulations will be scrapped, either because they are redundant or because they create unnecessary burdens and 151 regulations will be improved. 70 of these reforms will save businesses time and money.

Major Reforms

1) In April 2012 Defra introduced clearer statutory guidance to reduce uncertainty about contaminated land. This will avoid costly unnecessary remediation operations, potentially saving business an estimated £132million a year.

2) From December 2013 businesses have been allowed to sell second hand articles containing asbestos. This will save business an estimated £29million per year and follows Health and Safety Executive advice that it is better to leave asbestos in place if it is in good condition and unlikely to be damaged or disturbed. The Government can still prohibit the use of asbestos-containing articles, before they are disposed of or reach the end of their service life, to protect human health.

3) In January 2014 the Environment Agency launched a new electronic system to record the transfer of waste. This will free businesses from around 23 million paper waste transfer notes produced each year and is expected to save an estimated £8.7 million per year for business.

Other Implemented Reforms

1) Construction companies no longer have to produce site waste management plans. This will save them an estimat £0.86m per year and allow them to focus their efforts where they are most needed to more efficiently manage their waste.

2) The Environment Agency published simplified and reduced hazardous waste guidance in June 2012 and made electronic uploading of hazardous waste returns available to all hazardous waste customers from January 2013.

3) The edoc system for Waste Transfer Notes will come into play on Wednesday 29th January, giving businesses the option of using an electronic alternative to the paper-based system. This will potentially save 23 million Waste Transfer Notes from being produced and save business £8.7m a year.

Further Measures

1) From April 2014 firms will have greater flexibility to decide the sequencing of their planning and environmental permitting applications. This removes unnecessary burdens on businesses and regulators. This aims to save businesses £0.42m per year.

2) From spring 2015 Defra will reduce the burden of producer responsibility obligations on small businesses. For example, it intends to exempt more small businesses from packaging obligations without having an adverse effect on packaging recycling rates.

Click this link to download a spreadsheet of this theme’s deregulatory measures.

You can see the regulations that were crowd-sourced and read the comments received by clicking through to the following sub-category pages.

Air quality

Air quality

These regulate the amount of pollutants released into the air.

Biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation

Biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation

These regulations cover vulnerable or rare species, habitats and wildlife sites. They also control access to footpaths and national parks.

Energy labelling and sustainable products

Energy labelling and sustainable products

These regulations cover the energy efficiency labelling of certain products and set minimum energy efficiency standards.

Industrial emissions and carbon reductions

Industrial emissions and carbon reductions

These regulate the release of emissions into the environment.

Noise and nuisance

Noise and nuisance

These regulate impacts from noise, other nuisances, litter and dog fouling; and limit the effects of noise from roads, railways and airports.

Waste

Waste

These regulate volume and impact of different types of waste, including household, hazardous, construction, mining and quarrying waste.

Environmental permits, information and damage

Environmental permits, information and damage

These regulations set the operating conditions for businesses through environmental permitting; encourage public involvement in environmental matters; and provide sanctions for operators when serious pollution incidents occur.

Chemicals

Chemicals

These regulate the impact of chemicals on the environment and human health.

Additional Regulations

Additional Regulations

These conserve vulnerable species; limit the impact of noise, nuisance and litter; control the release of chemicals and genetically modified organisms into the environment; and require public bodies to make spatial data available to the public.

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