On the 6th April 2012 the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 come into force. As expected, following the coalition government’s u-turn last year, a proposal to allow the Environment Agency to issue fines and use other civil penalties for environmental permitting offences as an alternative to prosecution was not included in the Regulations. However, DEFRA has stated that it will continue to work “on whether and when civil sanction provision can be brought into force”.
The 2012 Amending Regulations do not make any major changes but amend the 2010 in the following ways:
• clarify the position relating to single site permits for certain radioactive substances activities (regulation 4);
• change the procedure for transferring environmental permits in certain situations (regulation 7);
• provide for the vesting of an environmental permit in the personal representatives of a deceased operator (regulation 9);
• require the Secretary of State to review the operation and effect of the principal Regulations in relation to England before 6th April 2017, and within every 5 years after that (regulation 11);
• reduce the regulatory requirements for those who operate certain anaerobic digestion installations or burn in appliances waste-derived fuel that has ceased to be waste (regulation 12);
• make minor changes to certain exempt waste operations (regulation 13);
• make minor changes relating to radioactive substances activities (regulation 16).
The 2012 Amendment Regulations also make miscellaneous and consequential amendments to other legislation (Part 3) including the Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008, The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009, The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) Regulations 2009, the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, the Infrastructure Planning (Miscellaneous Prescribed Provisions) Regulations 2010 and the Mercury Export and Data (Enforcement) Regulations 2010.
Will DEFRA have to again, and very shortly, amend the 2010 Regulations in order to separate the relevant provisions for Wales?