Agency plans shift to standardised permits

Major changes in the Environment Agency's approach to regulation were outlined at its first open board meeting on 20 October. Self-monitoring by industry and Agency audits of companies' environmental management systems, with a lesser emphasis on technology-based regulation, will form two planks of the new approach. Standardised permits, with fewer site-specific conditions, will be another key innovation. And for the longer term, the Agency plans to explore charging systems which encourage companies to reduce both their resource consumption and releases to the environment.

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