The devolved nations and Europe

The latest news and analysis from the devolved nations and Europe, covering air management, energy, land, ecology and development, environmental law, environment and sustainability management, environmental politics, products and chemicals, waste and resources and water management;

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Cutting flaring at ethylene works to cost £140m

ExxonMobil is to invest £140m in its Fife Ethylene Plant, in response to being ordered to make upgrades by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Brexit Hub Air

‘Bonkers’: Separate industrial emissions controls slammed by DEFRA official

The prospect of Scotland continuing to adhere to new EU industrial emissions guidance while the rest of the UK develops its own is “bonkers” according to a senior DEFRA official

Land, Ecology & Development

CO2 mine leaks: Measures to protect homes must be better implemented, study suggests

Existing risk assessments and guidelines addressing CO2 ingress into buildings near former mines in Scotland are not always implemented, according to a new study commissioned after a leaking mine caused people to fall ill in their homes


Why SEPA acted against a chemical plant’s flaring

Closely-linked chemical plants operated by Shell and ExxonMobil in Fife have been ordered to make upgrades to cut the frequency of flaring. Gareth Simkins looks into why the Scottish Environment Protection Agency took action



Data check: Pollution incidents in Wales

Pollution incidents in Wales are increasing, according to Natural Resources Wales


Why a council plans to bulldoze homes to hit air quality targets

A Welsh council’s decision to buy and demolish a row of 20 homes in a bid to meet its clean-air obligations sounds like satire, but the move has the backing of the Welsh government and at least some of the local community. Jim Dunton asks whether other areas could follow Caerphilly’s lead


Homes to be torn down to comply with air quality targets

Houses on one of the UK’s most polluted streets will be demolished to meet air quality targets, a council has confirmed


Welsh power station closure to bring UK’s coal fleet down to four

German energy giant RWE has announced it plans to close the Aberthaw B coal fired power station in March 2020, citing “challenging” market conditions for coal power in the UK

Northern Ireland

Environmental Politics

Environment agency chief seeks ‘big ideas’ from public on tackling pollution

The chief executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has called on the public to come up with "big ideas" on how to protect the environment

Fines Monitor Water pollution

Absolute discharge for farmer’s water pollution

On 24 July, a County Tyrone farmer was handed an absolute discharge by Magherafelt magistrates' court for allowing slurry to enter a waterway in 2017.

Land, Ecology & Development

Northern Ireland faces infringement action over ammonia pollution

Conflicting policy in Northern Ireland is responsible for breaches of critical thresholds for ammonia emissions and nitrogen pollution, according to a politician

Protected areas

Post-Brexit wildlife protection powers ‘unlawful’, claim green groups

New regulations governing the status of conservation areas are an “unlawful misuse” of the government’s Brexit powers, according to a new legal challenge

From ENDS Europe

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