Brexit Hub Environmental Law

DEFRA dismisses OEP independence fears as it confirms return of Environment Bill

DEFRA dismisses OEP independence fears as it confirms return of Environment Bill

DEFRA has dismissed concerns that government amendments to the Environment Bill would allow ministers to direct the post-Brexit green watchdog away from awkward cases, as it confirmed that the flagship legislation is due to return to parliament on 3 November... Read more

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Brexit Hub Environmental Law

Environment Bill: 5 things you need to know about the latest government amendments

Environment Bill: 5 things you need to know about the latest government amendments

A series of new government amendments to the Environment Bill have been tabled that would give the government powers to issue guidance to the post-Brexit green watchdog and empower Natural England to create new species conservation strategies. Here’s what you need to know

Biodiversity / conservation

Wildbelts and wildlife: Where will the UK’s new nature protection areas come from?

Wildbelts and wildlife: Where will the UK’s new nature protection areas come from?

Boris Johnson’s pledge to protect 30% of the UK for nature will require both new protected areas and improvements to existing land designations to make them fit for nature recovery, say green groups. Catherine Early reports

Waste

Is the EA poised to crack down on hazardous waste misclassification?

Is the EA poised to crack down on hazardous waste misclassification?

More than half of waste operators could be breaking the law by misclassifying hazardous waste and firms could find their compliance costs skyrocketing. The EA says the matter is a ‘priority’ and the sector fears a crackdown. Conor McGlone reports

Regulation

Is the Environment Agency turning a blind eye to farm pollution?

Is the Environment Agency turning a blind eye to farm pollution?

Farmers can expect an inspection from the Environment Agency around once every 263 years and a visit is much more likely to relate to animal health than environmental protection. So why isn’t the agency doing more to protect waterways from agricultural pollution? Adam Branson reports

Regulation

Has the EA’s permitting service ‘completely fallen apart’?

Has the EA’s permitting service ‘completely fallen apart’?

The waste industry has welcomed the EA’s ambitious plan to clear its permitting backlog but says the agency needs financial help from the Treasury to avoid unintended negative consequences elsewhere. Conor McGlone reports.

Water quality

MAPPED: England's healthiest – and most polluted – rivers

MAPPED: England's healthiest – and most polluted – rivers

The proportion of England’s rivers in good ecological health has plateaued at 14%, according to official classifications published last week, while the status of more than 100 has been rated as ‘bad’. Use ENDS’ map to view the locations of these water bodies

Waste

Incineration vs landfill: Why the debate over carbon intensity is far from over

Incineration vs landfill: Why the debate over carbon intensity is far from over

Energy from waste plants have long been preferred as a destination for rubbish over landfill sites, but are they really the most low carbon option? Waste management policy decisions made now will set the level of greenhouse gas impacts for the next generation, reports David Burrows

Land, Ecology & Development

Interview: Ben Goldsmith on rewilding, wild swimming and ‘hustling on behalf of nature’

Interview: Ben Goldsmith on rewilding, wild swimming and ‘hustling on behalf of nature’

Financier, DEFRA board director and rewilding advocate Ben Goldsmith talks to ENDS about why Britain needs to be bolder about bringing back lost species and how he hopes to create a ‘green heart of nature restoration’ on his Somerset farm

Biodiversity / conservation

Is wildlife restoration about to become big business?

Is wildlife restoration about to become big business?

With rewilding gaining in popularity and biodiversity net gain soon to be mandated, more private money is becoming interested in what some believe will become a ‘potentially huge market’. James Fair reports

Latest news

Regulation

EXCLUSIVE: Permitting queues ‘back to pre-Covid levels’, says EA

The Environment Agency has said permitting queues are back to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic

Land, Ecology & Development

Inspector reduces warehouse scheme’s net gain contribution

A planning inspector has blocked a local authority’s request for the developer of a major warehouse scheme to make a 10% biodiversity net gain contribution in line with provisions contained in the Environment Bill, concluding that a lower sum, in line with local planning policies, should instead be paid

Waste water & sewage

‘Early warning system’: DEFRA claims Covid-19 sewage monitoring scheme success

A programme to detect coronavirus in sewage is now sharing data with NHS Test and Trace, with plans to roll the scheme out further, after early results successfully demonstrated that fragments of genetic material from the virus can be detected in wastewater, the government has announced

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Editor's pick

Fines Monitor Civil sanctions

UPDATED: The ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database

UPDATED: The ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database

UPDATED: Details of nearly 30 new enforcement undertakings with a value of more than £1.5m have been added to the ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database, as the use of the civil sanction as a tool to deal with environmental offences continues to grow. Click through for the full list, compiled by ENDS

Environmental Law

How ecocide could be made an international crime

What would need to happen for the widescale, long-term and severe destruction of the environment to be made an international crime?

Biodiversity / conservation

The sixth extinction: The UK's most at-risk species and the fight to halt nature's decline

SPECIAL REPORT: 15% of species are formally classified as at risk of extinction in Great Britain. ENDS hears from those on the frontline of efforts to reverse nature's decline

Regulation

Environmental permitting: The pitfalls to avoid

What are the most common reasons for permit non-compliance and how can they be avoided? Adam Branson investigates

Enforcement

Enforcement action: The regulations that are no longer enforced

There are some regulations that the Environment Agency has stopped enforcing entirely – does this reflect a change in the regulator’s approach to enforcement or a lack of capacity to tackle serious environmental crimes?

Case studies

Biodiversity / conservation

How new green spaces are easing pressure on sensitive heathlands

How new green spaces are easing pressure on sensitive heathlands

The provision of a series of new green spaces has delivered a statistically significant drop in visitors to a special protection area over a period when housing numbers have grown by 13%

Land, Ecology & Development

The debrief: How a tree mapping project is making the case for greening Manchester

A major exercise to collect information on more than 2,000 trees has armed Greater Manchester councils with the hard data needed to win green funding

Green buildings

The debrief: How a London council is using public transport to heat homes

An expanded district heat scheme deriving warmth from an unlikely source is helping more than a thousand homes cut their energy bills in north London

Plastics

The debrief: How a waste company is closing the loop for plastic bottles

Biffa combined its in-house knowledge with expertise from across Europe to build the UK’s first recycling plant turning PET back into food-grade PET

Waste water & sewage

The debrief: How a simple change helped a luxury carmaker slash its water use

Having switched to renewable electricity and gas, Bentley Motors has turned its attention to reducing water use at its Crewe factory. A first-of-its-kind project is projected to save hundreds of thousands of litres a year

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