Revising the waste licensing rules - deregulation or pragmatism?

The Department of the Environment (DoE) has been busy rewriting the guidance which will underpin the new waste management licensing system to be introduced under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 following the Government's decision in mid-March to delay its implementation. Major changes have been made to the previous proposals on financial guarantees for landfill liabilities, the technical competence of waste managers, and the requirements for surrender of licences. While some of the amendments are based on a clearer perspective of what the Act requires, in other areas the new regime will be less demanding on operators - and provide fewer safeguards for the environment.

In March, the implementation of the licensing system was put back by two months to 1 June. Ever keen to keep interested parties guessing, the DoE sprang another surprise at the end of April when it announced a further delay, this time without a revised deadline. The new problem is connected with the fit between the licensing regulations and EC waste legislation (see pp 28-30 

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