12 environmental policy and compliance deadlines to look out for in July


30 June 2019: The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 enter into force. They impose a requirement for ships of more than 400 gross tonnage to be issued with an international energy efficiency certificate, and require ships of more than 5,000 gross tonnage to be issued with a statement of compliance relating to fuel oil consumption. This aligns UK requirements with international obligations laid out in the updated International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 (MARPOL), which extends pollutant control measures to include carbon dioxide as well as the already covered sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Failure to carry the relevant certificate is a criminal offence.

1 July 2019: Powers to make energy efficiency regulations in relation to the private rented sector is devolved to the Scottish Ministers under Sections 54 to 65 (Private rented sector: Scotland) of the Energy Act 2011. The Scottish Government is holding a consultation until 13 September 2019 on draft Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations to introduce minimum energy efficiency thresholds for properties in the domestic private rented sector, to bring such properties to at least an energy performance certificate (EPC) band E, in the first stage, and then to an EPC band D. 

4 July 2019: The prohibition on fishing for whelk under specified minimum size in Wales and the Welsh zone enters into force as set out under the Whelk Fishing (Wales) Order 2019. The specified minimum size for whelk is 55mm in shell length before 4 July 2020 (and 65mm from 4 July 2020), measured in accordance with EU Regulation 850/98/EC for the conservation and management of fishery resources.

17 July 2019: The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2019 enter into force. They amend regulations for both the domestic and non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme, in particular to update expenditure tables to reflect latest deployment assumptions.

Consultations & policy

4 July 2019: Environment Agency consultation on the draft national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy for England closes. The draft strategy sets out high-level ambitions to achieve climate resilient places, growth and people, and focuses on measures over the next ten to thirty years aimed at delivering the changes needed to achieve a resilient England by 2100.

5 July 2019 and 26 July 2019: European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) consultation on adding or amending entries in the list of harmonised classifications under the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation closes. Comments can be submitted until 5 July 2019 in relation to proposals to amend the entries for: 

  • 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethanol; diethylene glycol monomethyl ether (reproductive toxicity concerns); methyl methacrylate methyl 2-methylprop-2-enoate; methyl 2-methylpropenoate (respiratory sensitization concerns); and 

  • pyridine-2-thiol 1-oxide, sodium salt (sodium pyrithione), for a range of hazard classes. 

Interested parties have until 26 July 2019 if their comments relate to the addition to the harmonised classifications list of: 

  • isoflucypram (concerns about a wide range of hazards); and 

  • 2-Ethylhexanoic acid and its salts, with the exception of those specified elsewhere in Annex VI of the CLP (reproductive toxicity concerns). 

12 July 2019: BEIS and devolved administrations consultation on the future of UK carbon pricing closes. The UK has set out its preferred carbon pricing option for consultation:a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) linked to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Under the preferred option, the UK ETS would cover the same sectors and greenhouse gases covered under the EU ETS, with the potential to expand the scope of the UK cap-and-trade system later. In a linked EU ETS, each system would recognise the allowances of the other, creating a single carbon price across both systems. Alternative options include: establishing a standalone UK ETS, introducing a new tax on carbon, or participating  in phase IV of the EU ETS. As a current member of the EU, the UK is required to transpose the Phase IV revisions to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive into UK law before 9 October 2019.

15 July 2019: Environment Agency consultation on standards for permitted healthcare waste facilities closes. The consultation seeks views on draft guidance intended to replace technical guidance note EPR 5.07, ‘Clinical Waste’, published in January 2011. The new draft is intended to improve the design and operation of permitted facilities in the healthcare waste sector. It also incorporates the relevant requirements of the waste treatment best available techniques (BAT) conclusions entering into force in August 2019, which apply to waste installations facilities covered by the EU Industrial Emission Directive 2010/75/EU, and ensures consistent enforcement of appropriate measures (which cover both requirements for waste operation facilities and BAT for waste installations facilities).

17 July 2019: European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) consultation on eighteen applications for authorisation for a substance on the REACH list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) closes. It relates to: 

  • thirteen uses (in particular for its detergent properties) of 4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol, ethoxylated; 

  • 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated, for use for its detergent properties in the production of buffers and reagents for diagnostic tests; 

  • chromium trioxide, for use in surface treatment for the manufacture of grain-oriented electrical steel used in magnetic circuits of electric devices; 

  • pitch, coal tar, high-temp., for use as precursor of carbon matrix in the manufacturing of thermally and thermo-mechanically highly loaded carbon/carbon parts; 

  • sodium chromate, for use as an anti-corrosion agent of the carbon steel in sealed circuit of gas absorption appliances; and 

  • sodium dichromate, for use as an additive for suppressing parasitic reactions and oxygen evolution, pH buffering and cathode corrosion protection in the electrolytic manufacturing of sodium chlorite.

19 July  2019: Office for Nuclear Regulation consultation on updated guidance for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations closes. This consultation seeks views on the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s updated guidance on emergency planning and notification for transporting radioactive material by rail, road and inland waterways. The Carriage of Dangerous Goods (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/598) amend the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (SI 2009/1348) to implement in England, Scotland and Wales the EU Basic Safety Standards Directive 2013/59/Euratom in relation to emergency preparedness and response, and the notification of certain incidents when transporting Class 7 goods (radioactive material). Dutyholders have until 21 April 2020 to achieve compliance with the updated requirements. Similar Regulations entered into force for Northern Ireland on 18 June 2019.

29 July 2019: Scottish Government consultation on the updated environmental report and site classification of proposed special protection areas for Scottish marine birds closes. The process to classify 15 proposed Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the protection of wild birds under the EU Birds Directive 2009/147/EC was started in 2016 by the Scottish Government. The proposed SPAs are intended to protect a range of species: wintering waterfowl, breeding terns, breeding red-throated divers, European shag, and aggregations of seabirds. After a consultation in September 2018 on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the network assessment, respondents asked for more information, greater clarity and suggested additional alternatives, leading to the present consultation on the updated environmental report. The proposed SPAs cover: Outer Firth of Forth and St Andrews Bay Complex; extension of the existing Ythan estuary SPA; Moray Firth; Pentland Firth, Scapa Flow and North Orkney; East Mainland Coast and Bluemull; seas off Foula; seas off St Kilda; West Coast of the Outer Hebrides; Rum and Coll and Tiree; Sound of Gigha; and Solway Firth.

Also upcoming:

Consultation on the draft National Development Framework for Wales is due this summer.


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