This legislative update has been provided by Cedrec Information Systems Ltd, available at cedrec.com. In Partnership with Barbour EHS.
Legislation (England, Scotland and Wales)
The Draft REACH (Amendment) Regulations will extend the amount of time that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has to check compliance of registration dossiers. This essentially extends the deadlines of registrants to submit information to the HSE by three years.
The Draft Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Regulations will amend the environmental permitting regime to optimise the regulatory tools available for managing and protecting groundwater quality. The amendments will come into force on 2 October 2023.
The Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act 2023 has been published. It closes loopholes in existing laws that have allowed the practice of illegal hunting for sport to continue. A new two-dog limit for all use of dogs in the course of hunting will be introduced, as will a ban on trail hunting.
Guidance (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
A new policy paper sets out the government’s plans to enhance the UK’s energy security, seize the economic opportunities of the transition and deliver on net-zero commitments. Powering Up Britain aims to secure the UK’s energy independence by investing in ‘home’-produced gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, which will shield the UK from the impacts of external geopolitical pressures. The plan aims to create almost half a million green jobs by 2030, create a strategic advantage in new clean industries and generate opportunities for UK businesses to “export their expertise”.
A Defra policy paper sets out the government’s plans to transform the water management system; clean up the water environment; and create a sustainable supply of water for people, businesses and nature. The plan aims to integrate the water system, address the sources of pollution and boost the water supply through extra investment, tighter regulation and more effective enforcement.
The government has published a consultation that aims to strengthen the Environment Agency’s ability to issue monetary penalties for environmental offences in England, and to raise the cap for such penalties. The options include raising the cap from £250k to £25m, £250m or an unlimited amount. The plans also aim to extend such fines into the environmental permitting regime.
Consultation (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
The government is consulting on policy measures to mitigate carbon leakage risk. Carbon leakage means any movement of production and associated emissions from one country to another owing to different levels of decarbonisation effort through carbon pricing and climate regulation. Carbon leakage undermines decarbonisation efforts. Potential policies include a carbon border adjustment mechanism applied on imports that would reflect the carbon emitted in their production together with any gap between the carbon price already applied in the country of origin and the carbon price that would have been incurred had they been produced in the UK.
Defra is seeking views on the draft revised national air quality strategy, which sets out actions the government expects local authorities to take to achieve long-term air-quality goals, including ambitious new PM2.5 targets. The strategy establishes a framework to enable local authorities to make the best use of their powers and deliver for their communities.
Consultation (Northern Ireland)
Climate change reporting
DAERA is consulting on developing regulations that will place climate change reporting duties on specified public bodies. These regulations are required to be made under the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022.