Regulated firms doing well, says EA
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- Environment agencies ,
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- Pollution & Waste Management
Businesses regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) are improving their environmental performance despite the tough economic conditions
The data show that the number of serious pollution incidents in 2010 is the lowest ever recorded by the regulator in England and Wales. Serious pollution incidents were down 16% in 2010 on the previous 12 months, from 770 to 648. The agency also reports that serious incidents in 2010 caused by directly regulated companies totalled 145.
Compliance with permits is also at an all-time high, with 71% (9,477) of sites achieving an A rating under the operational risk assessment process, with just 4% scoring poor ratings (bands D–F). Air emissions from sites regulated by the EA are generally down, with nitrogen oxide and PM10 levels both 5% lower in 2010 than in 2009.
Emissions of sulphur oxides remained stable. Waste from regulated sites has fallen by 18% since 2005, while the amount recovered has increased from 37% in 2000 to 66% in 2010.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s environmental regulator, SEPA, has published a progress report on its proposals – set out in a consultation in December 2010 – to improve environmental regulation.
SEPA says its dynamic regulatory effort and assessment model, an integrated framework that works across environmental regimes and covers environmental risk assessment and operator compliance, and which is currently being piloted nationally, will go live in January 2013.
The regulator plans to adopt an audit-based approach to inspections, with the outputs of an environment management system helping to inform the evaluation. SEPA says it will undertake three-yearly intensive audits for all high-risk sites and failing medium-risk sites.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.
In R (on the application of National Farmers Union) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the claimant applied for judicial review of the Secretary's direction to Natural England concerning badger culling.