Waste operators rush to surrender licences

A survey by Friends of the Earth (FoE) has revealed that one-quarter of the landfill licences extant in England at the beginning of 1993 have since been surrendered to waste regulation authorities (WRAs) as companies seek to avoid impending post-closure liabilities under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

A surge in the surrender of licences has been on the cards since the 1990 Act was passed. The existing regime allows operators to return their licences to WRAs whenever they choose. But section 39 of the Act will bar them from doing so except with a WRA's consent.

The intention of the new rules is to ensure that operators pay the full costs of monitoring and controlling landfills until they no longer pose a risk to human health or the env

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