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Environmental Permit Regulations: 10 facts to know
Environmental Permitting Regulations (2010) bring into England and Wales one
permit and a common procedure to replace separate controls (mostly 2007
regulations) on waste, pollution, water discharge, groundwater activity,
radioactive substances, and various directives including on mining.
running ‘regulated facilities’, typically industrial, waste, intensive
farming..., are required to hold a valid permit to legally conduct their
bringing a multitude of controls together EPRs aim for more efficient and
effective organisation, cutting complexity, reducing rigidity, cutting
ambiguousness and getting rid of unneeded bureaucracy, resulting in a more
economic system that encourages best practice, centring on medium and high
are enforced by sending out enforcement, suspension or revocation notices and
ultimately criminal prosecution can be pursued.
a regulated facility has no permit, has breached conditions on a permit or has
not responded as required to a previous notice an enforcement notice may be
sent stating: the regulators view, describing the breach, what has to be done
and by when (enforcement notices may be withdrawn and/or other notices sent as
regulatorsare the relevant local authority, such as Bristol City Council (pictured above)
or the Environment Agency.
in the regulators view there is a risk of serious pollution then a suspension
notice is sent out, suspending the permit, spelling out what the risks of
serious pollution are, what steps need to be taken and the timescale of action
(suspension notices may be withdrawn and indeed have to be when the regulator
is confident that the steps spelled out have been taken).
the sending out of notices alone is insufficient then criminal prosecution can
be pursued (though those operating/owning a regulated facility can appeal to
the Secretary of State).
found guilty in a Magistrates Court can result in a fine of up to £50,000
and/or a prison sentence of up to 12 months, whilst being found guilty in a
Crown Court can result in an unlimited fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 5
possible in court include: emergency action was needed; all reasonable steps
were taken; the owner/operator is someone else.