Waste licensing rules for Northern Ireland

Legislation bringing Northern Ireland's waste management licensing regime fully into line with the rest of the UK came into force on 27 November.1

Enabling legislation to align the licensing system with British law was passed in 1997, but is only now being brought into effect by a statutory order.

The order extends the scope of licensing to any disposal, storage or treatment of waste, with provision for a range of registered exemptions. It also prescribes offences which may preclude a licence applicant from being a "fit and proper person", provide for regulatory fees and establish public registers.

Separate regulations introducing a permitting system for landfill sites in the Province, as required by the EU landfill Directive, were laid before Parliament in December.2The regulations come into effect on 6 January 2004. Sites which cannot comply with their provisions will be closed, while the remainder will be granted new permits as soon as possible within a transitional period up to March 2007.

Landfills that will be regulated under the waste management licensing regime - those taking only inert waste or less than 10 tonnes of waste per day, or with a total capacity of less than 25,000 tonnes - have until July 2009 to meet the regulations' requirements.

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