Agency smarts at criticism of its regulatory reforms

The Environment Agency has refused to accept some of the findings of a review of progress towards improving its approach to regulation recently published by the Business Department (BERR)

The review was conducted by BERR’s Better Regulation Executive in the latter half of last year. It checked the Agency’s progress on implementing the principles of risk-based regulation and effective enforcement recommended by Sir Philip Hampton and Professor Richard Macrory.

Although the review finds the Agency has taken “significant steps” to implement better regulation principles, they are “not yet embedded throughout its culture”. In particular, it says absolute levels of inspections remain high compared to other regulators. It also criticises requirements for site operators to report monitoring data to demonstrate compliance. It says these “continue to place burdens on business whilst often having no clear link to environmental outcomes.”

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