Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (February 06)

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see the EU's proposals on radioactive waste shipments, flood management and noise pollution and in the UK climate change agreements for energy intensive installations.

EUROPEAN LEGISLATION


Proposed Directive on supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new Directive on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The existing rules, as set out in Council Directive 92/3/Euratom on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste between Member States and into and out of the Community will be extended in order to cover the trans-border movement of radioactive waste and bring spent nuclear fuel (nuclear fuel that has been removed from a nuclear reactor after use) within the provisions of the legislation. Currently the rules and procedures which apply in respect of the movement of spent nuclear fuel are not consistent between Member States. However, while the rules on movements of radioactive waste are to extended, at the same time the rules are to be simplified, in order to ease the application of the rules.
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Proposed Directive on the assessment and management of floods

On the 18 January, the European Commission announced a proposal for a Directive on the assessment and management of floods. The proposed Directive (COM (2006) 15 final) follows the approach outlined in the Communication on Flood Risk Management of July 2004 and takes into account the outcome of the stakeholder consultation subsequently undertaken. The proposed Directive seeks to place a number of obligations on Member States, including the requirement to undertake a preliminary flood risk assessment, the requirement to map flood risks for river basins and sub-basins within which there is a significant potential risk of flooding, and the requirement to develop flood risk management plans in certain circumstances and implement these at the river basin/sub-basin level in order to reduce and manage the flood risk.

It is intended that implementation of the proposed Floods Directive will be coordinated with the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). The Floods Directive will therefore use the same administrative units as the Water Framework Directive (WFD), those of "river basin districts" as defined in Article 3 of the WFD. The principles for coordination within river basins, the implementation cycles and reporting mechanisms and the public participation and information mechanisms of the Floods Directive will also mirror the equivalent provisions contained within the WFD. The proposed Directive will now be subject to negotiation between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
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Directive 2006/8/EC

Commission Directive 2006/8/EC has been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and will enter into force on 13 February 2006. The Directive amends, for the purposes of their adaptation to technical progress, Annexes II, III and IV to Directive 1999/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances. Member States are to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the provisions of the Directive by 1 March 2007 at the latest.
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Regulation (EC) No 117/2006

A European Regulation has been introduced by the European Commission which introduces a tendering scheme whereby wine producers will be able to dispose of surplus alcohol, to be used in the production of bioethanol. Regulation (EC) No 117/2006 of 24 January 2006 on opening a tendering procedure for the sale of wine alcohol for use as bioethanol in the Community provides for 666,095 hectolitres of unwanted wine, which is currently stored in France, Hungary, Italy and Spain to be sold to companies who will put it to "exclusive use as bioethanol in the fuel sector". The Regulation entered into force on 25 January 2006 and tenders are being invited by 12 noon on 1 March 2006.
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UK LEGISLATION


UK wide


The Climate Change Agreements (Energy-intensive Installations) Regulations 2006

The Climate Change Agreements (Energy-intensive Installations) Regulations 2006 were made on the 18 January 2006 and came into force on 21 January 2006. Schedule 6 paragraph 51 of the Finance Act specifies the energy-intensive installations which may form a facility covered by a climate change agreement. A reduced rate of climate change levy may apply to supplies of taxable commodities. to a facility taken as being covered by a climate change agreement. The Regulations therefore expand the types of installation that may form such a facility to include installations for--
(a) separating from air, and then compressing or liquefying nitrogen, oxygen or argon;
(b) extracting and processing kaolinitic clay in combination with its accessory minerals;
(c) processing calcium carbonate based minerals for use as filler or whitener;
(d) heat-treating metals;
(e) horticulture;
(f) manufacturing textiles;
(g) producing plastic film.

See link to OPSI website:-
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The Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for Use Outdoors (Amendment) Regulations 2005

The Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for Use Outdoors (Amendment) Regulations 2005 were made on 29 December 2005 and came into force on 3 January 2006. The Regulations amend the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for Use Outdoors Regulations 2001 by substituting the table set out in Schedule 3 of the 2001 Regulations with the Schedule to these Regulations, which sets out the permissible sound power level in dB/1 pW for various categories of equipment, thereby amending the sound power limits for walk-behind vibrating rollers, vibratory plates (>3 kW), vibratory rammers, dozers (steel tracked), loaders (steel tracked >55 kW), combustion-engine driven counterbalanced lift trucks, compacting screed paver-finishers, hand-held internal combustion-engine concrete-breakers and picks (15
See link to OPSI website:-
For details, click here


English

There has been no new legislation specifically in respect of England this month


Scottish

The Water Framework Directive (Groundwater Quality) Directions 2005

The Water Framework Directive (Groundwater Quality) Directions 2005 have been issued to SEPA by the Scottish Ministers and came into force on 21 December 2005. The Directions have been made in order to give effect to Article 17(4) of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) which requires Member States to establish appropriate criteria to prevent and control pollution of groundwater at the latest five years after the date of entry into force of the Directive (22 December 2005). The Directions made by the Scottish Ministers set out the general requirement for SEPA to cooperate with the Environment Agency (EA) in discharging its functions in relation to the Solway Tweed River Basin District. The Guidance more particularly requires SEPA to prepare and submit to the Scottish Ministers for their approval proposals for threshold values for pollutants, groups of pollutants or indicators of pollution that have been identified as contributing to the condition of bodies of groundwater being characterised as being at risk of failing to achieve good groundwater chemical status by 22 June 2008. Requirements regarding the assessment of groundwater chemical status and the identification of significant and sustained upward trends in pollution concentrations are also set out within the Directions. Finally, the Directions set out certain information that SEPA is to include in river management plans.

See link to Scottish Executive website:-
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The Environment Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 (Commencement and Savings) Order 2006

The Environment Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 (Commencement and Savings) Order 2006 was made on 19 January 2006. The Order appoints 20th February 2006 as the date for the coming into force of the provisions of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, in accordance with Regulation 26(1) of the Environment Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, so far as not then in force.

The Order also provides that notwithstanding the repeal of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (by the commencement of section 24 of the Act), those Regulations continue to have effect in relation to plans and programmes whose first formal preparatory act is on or before 19th February 2006.

See link to OPSI website:-
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Welsh

The Waste (Household Waste Duty of Care) (Wales) Regulations 2006

The Waste (Household Waste Duty of Care) (Wales) Regulations 2006 were made on 24 January 2006 and came into force on 26 January 2006. The Regulations aim to implement, in relation to Wales, Article 8 of the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 75/442/EEC) on waste as respects an occupier of domestic property in relation to the household waste produced on the property. Regulation 2 amends section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Section 34(2A) of the 1990 Act (as inserted by the Waste (Household Waste Duty of Care) (England and Wales) Regulations 2005) imposes a duty on an occupier of domestic property in England as respects the household waste produced on the property. The duty imposed is to take all such measures available to him or her as are reasonable in the circumstances to secure that any transfer by him or her of household waste produced on the property is only to an authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes. Regulation 2(2) of the Welsh Regulations now extends that duty to any occupier of domestic property in Wales, and any person who fails to comply with that duty will be liable to penalties, according to section 34(6) of the 1990 Act. The Regulations also make consequential amendments to regulation 2(2) of the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992.

See link to OPSI website:-
For details, click here


Northern Irish

There has been no new legislation specifically in respect of Northern Ireland this month.

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