This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published in May 2013.

Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet. All links are correct at the date of publication.

If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it direct please email Claire Booth.

The following topics are covered in this update:

   Enforcement   Producer Responsibility
   Hazardous Waste   Regulation
   Incineration   Waste Policy



BBC: Gwent Levels waste dumping: reports that two recycling firms and their director have been fined a total of £110,000 and ordered to pay costs of £102,000 for breaches of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 and s.33(1)(a) & (1)(c) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. In additon, the director was given a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years. The charges related to the dumping of waste by Atlantic Recycling Ltd and Neal Soil Suppliers on land that was in an SSSI. (29 May 2013)

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Hazardous Waste

Environment Agency: Guidance for the recovery and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste – Sector Guidance Note S5.06: updated guidance for operators of an exempt or regulated facility that transfer or treat hazardous waste on indicative standards of operation and environmental performance relevant to their sector, to help them comply with the PPC requirements. Regulated facilities or exempt facilities that transfer or treat hazardous waste are expected to meet the requirements of S5.06, whether they are allocated to the Hazardous Waste Sector or another sector. The guidance has been updated to include changes resulting from the implementation of Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75.(13 May 2013)

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DEFRA: Environmental permitting guidance – The Waste Incineration Directive: updated guidance for those operating and regulating incineration and co-incineration plants on how the Waste Incineration Directive 2000/76 should be applied and how particular terms should be interpreted. It accompanies the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/675). (23 May 2013)

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HC Public Accounts Committee: HM Treasury – Planning for economic infrastructure: this report critically examines the work of HM Treasury and its advisory unit Infrastructure UK, focusing on its National Infrastructure Plan (NIP). The Committee concludes that the NIP is simply a long list of projects requiring huge amounts of money, not a real plan with a strategic vision and clear priorities. It is not convinced that the current proposals represent a rigorous plan with clear priorities for action or with a clear programme for delivery. 

  • The Treasury has identified 40 key projects and programmes; however, many of the programmes are broad categories and in total they include more than 200 individual projects. This does not suggest a properly targeted and prioritised infrastructure plan. 
  • The Treasury will need to work more forcefully with departments, regulators, contractors and investors to agree the priorities for the projects that will be undertaken and the ways in which the costs both for consumers, through bills, and taxpayers, through various forms of support, will be identified and contained. This needs to be addressed urgently. 
  • The Government also needs to ensure that the legislative and regulatory framework provides sufficient certainty to secure the necessary private sector investment in a climate where the competition for capital is internationally competitive. In this regard the statutory framework provided by the Energy Bill is coming rather late in the day when the energy crunch is fast approaching.  It is likely that the UK will buy ever more energy from overseas and at a higher price due to the failure to secure investment. 
  • Most of the economic infrastructure investment required will be in the private sector using investment supported by government with households bearing the costs through higher bills or fares. In these circumstances greater transparency is needed over investors’ costs, risks and rewards and more information is required on the long term costs falling on consumers in a form that will allow them to judge how they might respond.

(29 April 2013)

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Producer Responsibility

Environment Agency: Agreed positions and technical interpretations – Producer responsibility for packaging: provides a summary of technical decisions for interpretation of producer responsibility for packaging. It covers technical issues which are not dealt with in other, topic-specific guidance (such as Accreditation Application Guidance or Compliance Monitoring Guidance). The document brings together and clarifies technical interpretations made by the Agencies (Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency) over a number of years, and summarises the current methodologies. (3 May 2013)

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DEFRA: Smarter Environmental Regulation Review – Phase 1 report: Guidance and information obligations: the Smarter Environmental Regulation Review has mapped over 100,000 pages of environmental guidance and 250 separate information reporting obligations. Phase 1 of the Review concluded that, while important to support regulation, guidance and information obligations can be more costly and complex than they need to be. This report summarises a review of existing environmental guidance and reporting obligations. DEFRA will now review each obligation to make sure it is needed and used and prepare a plan to implement the changes identified. Unnecessary requirements will be removed as soon as practical.
DEFRA has also launched a consultation on reforming environmental guidance and information obligations. The closing date for comments on how it should shape future arrangements is 31 March 2014. (15 May 2013)

Environment Agency: Developing a relationship measure with local government – Wave 2: Executive summary: the EA commissioned Ipsos MORI to carry out an independent market research study with a sample of local authorities to understand their feedback and experiences of working with the Agency. It surveyed local authority directors and councillors to understand their levels of satisfaction with its service and partnership working. This report summarises the findings. (15 May 2013)

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Waste Policy

DEFRA: Review of DEFRA’s funding for WRAP in England – Opportunity to comment: invites key partners and stakeholders, including businesses, local authorities, civil society organisations and individuals, to submit their views, on DEFRA’s funding for WRAP’s activities in England in support of waste reduction and resource efficiency. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) was established in 2000 as an arm’s length not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and is funded by all four UK governments. DEFRA is conducting a review of WRAP’s to identify whether the WRAP delivery model continues to be the most appropriate way to deliver policy interventions in support of waste reduction and resource efficiency in England; and to secure best value for public money. The consultation closes on 24 May 2013. (3 May 2013)

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