ENDS Report Issue 533, August 2019

Regulation

Fee-paying industry right to expect more

Fee-paying industry right to expect more

One consequence of the Environment Agency’s new charging regime, introduced in April 2018, is that fee payers – the industry it regulates – expected that the body’s performance would improve

Water

Interview: Feargal Sharkey blames the Environment Agency for England’s dying chalk streams

Interview: Feargal Sharkey blames the Environment Agency for England’s dying chalk streams

Former Undertones frontman Feargal Sharkey is fighting to save England’s globally rare chalk streams from environmental collapse and is challenging the Environment Agency to take action

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Regulation

The cost of compliance: are businesses getting more for their money?

An increase in charges has pulled in an additional £5m in annual fee income for the Environment Agency, but the regulator’s performance on determination times has in some cases got worse

Climate change

Coastal flooding: will the residents of Fairbourne become Britain's first climate refugees?

The villagers of Fairbourne, North Wales, have been dubbed Britain’s first “climate refugees”. As sea levels rise they won’t be the last, but are authorities prepared?

Biodiversity / conservation

Nitrates crisis: ‘The planning system is effectively at a standstill’

Legal advice from Natural England has brought Hampshire housebuilding to a halt. But why exactly have the area’s authorities felt the need to effectively bring in a moratorium on new development? And what are the chances of the situation being resolved any time soon? Adam Branson investigates

Land, Ecology & Development

The debrief: How a mitigation project overcame opposition to a pylon scheme

Local people were closely involved in the design of landscape mitigation measures to offset the visual impact of a major pylon scheme in Scotland

Planning & land use

Policy briefing: Natural England’s advice on ‘nutrient neutral’ development

New legal advice from Natural England has advised councils that new developments in the Solent region should only be permitted if they are nutrient neutral

Environmental Law

Court clears up issues on air-quality challenge

The Court of Justice of the EU has clarified two issues relating to air quality sampling in a case involving a challenge to the air quality plan for the Brussels region

Civil sanctions

Focus on: civil sanctions

More than 370 enforcement undertakings have been agreed in England since 2011, totalling £14.8m in contributions to environmental causes, according to analysis of Environment Agency figures by ENDS

Environmental Politics

How the Environment Bill is taking shape

The new prime minster Boris Johnson has promised to ‘consecrate and advance’ DEFRA’s key policy initiatives, likely to include the flagship Environment Bill. In recent weeks, the outline of the bill has become clearer, reports Jocelyn Timperley

Brexit Brexit Hub

Why Brexit risks trashing the UK’s green protections

With the Conservative leadership candidates pledging to bring the UK out of the EU, deal or no deal, green groups warn that changes to a raft of secondary legislation risk undermining protections. Simon Pickstone investigates

Transport emissions

Heathrow expansion: Inside the airport's plans to address air pollution

Heathrow plans to introduce a novel legal mechanism to prove that its third runway expansion plans can comply with environmental targets. Simon Pickstone reports

Waste

What does Biffa’s China dumping conviction mean for the waste sector?

The waste sector is reeling from the conviction of one of the industry's largest companies for illegally sending waste abroad. It has led to questions over which other firms the EA has in its sights and whether or not export laws are clear enough. Conor McGlone reports

Environmental Law

How deliberate data manipulation earned a utility a record penalty

The Environment Agency is investigating Southern Water after Ofwat fined the firm £126m for deliberately dodging wastewater sampling, but will it prosecute or has it ‘gone soft on polluters’? James Fair reports

Contaminated land

Has building a school on a former industrial landfill site led to health problems?

While the school, local authority and NHS body insist there is no link between the siting of a school on a former landfill and illnesses of staff and pupils, parents and independent experts are insisting on further tests, with some families enrolling their children in other schools. Catherine Early investigates

Odour

What a poultry farm’s quashed planning permission could mean for future EIAs

The brakes are being put on the expansion of intensive livestock farms by a legal ruling on dust and odour that is making their environmental impact assessment more challenging, reports Gareth Simkins

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