ENDS Report Issue 529, April 2019

Environmental Politics Brexit Hub

As we went to press...

As we went to press...

When it comes to Brexit, we tend to find that the issues that appear uncertain when we go to press remain so when the journal arrives with subscribers. Could this time be different?

Parliament Brexit Hub

'Too much wriggle room', 'Absurd caveat' – MPs and peers set out their Environment Bill green lines

'Too much wriggle room', 'Absurd caveat' – MPs and peers set out their Environment Bill green lines

As pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Environment Bill gets under way, some MPs and peers have already set their own ‘green lines’. Where will the flashpoints arise?

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Regulation

The firms that took on the EA and won

How did the handful of businesses that have overturned Environment Agency permitting decisions manage to succeed at appeal?

Land, Ecology & Development

Interview: What the UK’s infrastructure chief thinks about net-zero, plastic and driving innovation

National Infrastructure Commission chair Sir John Armitt explains how environmental considerations are shaping the powerful body’s recommendations to ministers

Land, Ecology & Development

What has £159.5m in funding cuts meant for Natural England's performance?

England's nature regulator has faced deep cuts in central funding since 2008 and could lose another £8m in the next financial year. ENDS looks at how the funding squeeze is affecting its work

Products & Chemicals

Fact checker: Has the UK led EU chemical regulation?

The UK has tried to ban some chemicals faster than other EU members want, the environment minister has claimed. How do the facts stack up?

Biodiversity / conservation

The debrief: How a district licensing scheme is raising funds from developers to protect newts

One Midlands scheme aims to show that with the right strategy and people in place, district licensing can throw off the ‘licence to trash’ label

Environmental Politics Brexit Hub

What would a Brexit delay mean for the environment?

Debate is raging over whether the UK should request extending its EU membership after the 29 March deadline. Simon Pickstone asks how it would impact the waste and chemicals sectors

Environmental Law

Springwatch to crimewatch: How Chris Packham plans to take on the nature regulators

Packham and co have set up Wild Justice to keep DEFRA, Natural England and the rest of the UK nature regulators’ feet to fire. James Fair reports

Products & Chemicals

Why the UK’s deposit return schemes could be vulnerable to fraud

England and Scotland are pressing ahead with separate versions of deposit return schemes for plastic bottles, but divergence could lead to fraud and confusion, finds Conor McGlone

Waste

How Brexit could lead to a rise in ‘waste tourism’

Brexit is opening up the doors to the prospect of divergence in environmental standards across the UK, finds Conor McGlone, setting the scene set for an increase in ‘waste tourism’

Contaminated land

Why it's taking 20 years to clean up one of Scotland’s most polluted industrial sites

Parts of southern Glasgow and Rutherglen are seriously contaminated with historic industrial waste. Gareth Simkins looks into why it is taking so long to tackle

Land, Ecology & Development

Was Grayling right to approve a major port terminal on 'unique brownfield habitat'?

A developer has been given the green light to build a port terminal on 'one of the UK’s best brownfields for invertebrates', drawing criticism from green groups. Adam Branson reports

Carbon & energy efficiency

Policy briefing: Get ready for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, Phase 2

Organisations must notify the Environment Agency by 5 December 2019 to comply with their obligations under a scheme requiring large firms to assess their energy use

Brexit Hub Access to justice

Post-Brexit governance: Why the devolved administrations are reluctant to collaborate with Westminster

As EU exit day looms, the devolved administrations have been slow to prepare their post-Brexit plans for the environment. Simon Pickstone asks what’s causing the delay

Water resources, efficiency

Data check: Water abstraction in England

A look at the latest estimates of direct abstraction from non-tidal surface water and groundwater

Environmental Law

Should courts trump councils on health?

If decisions affecting health become subject to more intense court scrutiny, many more areas of environmental law could be opened up to challenge

Air

Focus on: air pollution

Nearly 18 million NHS patients in England are registered at GP practices in locations exceeding the WHO’s annual air pollution limit for PM2.5, according to an analysis. Which areas fare the worst?

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