Consultation No21 – The Environment Agency is seeking responses

The Environment Agency is seeking responses to its latest plan of action for transitioning from waste exemptions to environmental permits. Consultation No21 identifies an intention to supersede three waste exemptions and replace them with Standard Rules permits. These changes will have significant implications for operators who treat mattresses, paper and tyres.

At the present time, waste operators can – at no cost to their business – register for a relevant waste exemption for certain activities. Namely, T8 mechanically treating end-of-life tyres; T12 manually treating waste for mattress recycling; and T4 preparatory treatments for paper, cardboard and plastic sorting and baling. If this consultation document is enacted unchanged, then there will be an increased financial burden placed upon affected businesses.

Consultation No21

How waste exemptions site within wider Environmental Permitting

The different classes of regulation

This latest consultation primarily involves changes to waste exemptions. It forms a part of the wider action plan of reducing “crime at sites handling waste, and introducing fixed penalties for waste duty of care”.

To clarify, a Standard Rules permit is a type of consent to undertake certain specified waste activities that includes a predetermined set of rules and conditions defined by the Environment Agency. Their rationale for the shift from Waste Exemptions to Standard Rules is because it will reduce risks of pollution, fire and abandonment.

This means that waste operators on the front line will face increased costs and scrutiny. For example, restrictions on waste storage capacities and additional annual fees to cover the cost of regulation. It will also bring additional requirements such as Fire Prevention Plans and Technically Competent Management.

What to do next?

The Consultation No21 offers waste operators a chance to comment on the revised rules. We recommend that stakeholders review the following proposed permits and submit a response to the Consultation No21:

Once the Environment Agency has considered all the consultation responses, they aim to publish the revised Standard Rules by April 2020.

Getting ready for the transition

Here at Wiser Environment, we can help businesses seamlessly transition from Waste Exemptions to Standard Rules. We pride ourselves on removing the burden of dealing with the regulatory bodies and will see all applications through to its conclusion.

If you have any questions or queries about Environmental Permitting, then contact us or call Andrew Lake on 01480 462232.