Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (September 2005)

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 changes this month we see the ratification of a pan-European protocol on water and health, the introduction of new packaging waste recycling targets, the EC gives GM animal feed the green light, combined heat and power stations get climate change tax cut in the UK, new regulations for offshore oil discharge and an overhaul of health and safety regulations for animal by-products in England and Wales.

INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATION

New non-EU, European protocol on water and health
A new non-EU, European protocol on water and health has entered force after receiving its 16th ratification. The protocol, entitled The Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, was first agreed back in 1999 through the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Economic Commission for Europe. It is described by WHO as the world's first legally binding international agreement in the fight against water-related diseases - it covers both the provision of safe drinking-water and adequate sanitation and the basin-wide protection of water resources. 23 EU countries have signed the protocol, although only those who have ratified have become bound by its rules - namely Albania, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine.

See link to WHO press release:-
http://www.euro.who.int/eprise/main/WHO/MediaCentre/PR/2005/20050729_1


EUROPEAN LEGISLATION

Packaging waste recycling and recovery targets due to be implemented in EU Member States
The 18 August 2005 was the official deadline for all EU Member States transposing into their national legislation EU Directive 2004/12/EC setting higher recycling and recovery targets for packaging and packaging waste. This type of waste includes packaging made from paper, glass, metals, plastics and wood. The new Directive updates and strengthens an earlier Directive from 1994. It aims to further reduce the negative environmental impacts created by the landfill and incineration of packaging waste and by the production of virgin materials. However so far only Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg and the UK have informed the Commission that they have transposed the Directive. The UK implemented the Directive via the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (as amended by the Packaging (Essential Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2004) which came into force early on 25 August 2003. The European Commission can open infringement procedures against Member States that do not meet transposition deadlines.

See links to OPSI website:-
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20031941.htm

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/20041188.htm

See Europa press release:-

http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do? reference=IP/05/1057&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Commission authorises import of GM-oilseed rape for use in animal feed
The European Commission authorised on 31 August 2005 the placing on the market of the genetically modified oilseed rape known as GT73 for import and processing. The decision came despite the decision of the UK, and most EU Member State governments, not to support the application. This decision is valid for 10 years and results from an application submitted by the company Monsanto. The GT73 oilseed rape, which is tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate, is already widely used in North America with no reports of any adverse effects on health or the environment. Most EU Member States voted against the application or abstained last year because of unanswered questions over safety and impact on the environment. However the authorisation was backed by science and the European Food Safety Authority. It covers the specific use for imports of the GM oilseed rape and processing for use in animal feed or for industrial purposes. The authorisation is complemented by a Recommendation concerning the measures to be taken by the consent holder to prevent any damage to health and the environment in the event of the accidental spillage of GT73. Refined oil derived from GT73 oilseed rape has already been approved for food use in 1997 in the EU.

See link to Europa press release:-
http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do? reference=IP/05/1077&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

UK LEGISLATION

UK Wide

The Climate Change Levy (Combined Heat and Power Stations) Regulations 2005
These Regulations relate to the reliefs from climate change levy (CCL) that may apply in the case of electricity produced in certified combined heat and power stations.

The exemption for supplies of leviable fuel to such stations is determined relative to an objective threshold efficiency percentage. Regulation 3(1) sets that threshold efficiency percentage as 20 per cent. The actual amount of exemption depends on the ratio between a station's efficiency percentage and the relevant threshold efficiency percentage. Regulation 3(2) provides for a station's efficiency percentage in relation to a given calendar year to be determined in accordance with methodology described in detail in the Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance Standard, Issue 1, November 2000 originally published by the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (the Standard).

Electricity may be supplied from partly exempt stations free from CCL, but only up to a specified limit. Regulation 4 specifies the current calendar year's annual limit as the station's CHP Qualifying Power Output in relation to that year in accordance with the Standard.

A certified station is fully exempt or partly exempt for CCL purposes. Entitlement to a full-exemption certificate depends on prescribed conditions being satisfied.
Regulation 5 prescribes as a condition that the station's Quality Index measured in accordance with the Standard must at least meet a Threshold Quality Index Criterion specified by the Standard.

See link to OPSI website:
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051714.htm

The Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Nickel) (Safety) Regulations 2005
These Regulations, which came into force on 1 September 2005, revoke and re-enact with amendments the Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Nickel)(Safety) Regulations 2000. The Regulations implement EU Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous products and preparations insofar as that Directive restricts the use of nickel and its compounds and the marketing of products containing those substances. They also implement for the first time Directive 2004/96/EC which amends Directive 76/769/EEC by amending the restriction on the use of nickel and its compounds in post assemblies. The Regulations restrict the use of nickel and its compounds in post assemblies and products intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with skin including products which have been coated with a non-nickel coating. The Regulations amend the previous restriction on the supply of post assemblies containing nickel. It will remain lawful to supply post assemblies which were lawful under the previous Regulations provided that they were first placed on the market in a Member State before these Regulations came into force. Further the restrictions do not apply to a product first placed on the market in a Member State before 20th January 2000 or to products intended for export to a country which is not a Member State.

See link to OPSI website:-
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20052001.htm

The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005
These Regulations, which came into force on 20 August 2005, are made under sections 2 and 7(9) of the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999. They provide for the phasing out of the system of exemptions under the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 (permitting certain discharges of oil into the sea) and the replacement of that system by a permit system. The Regulations apply to the whole of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf except Scottish controlled waters. Regulation 3 provides that, in order for operators of offshore installations to discharge oil into relevant waters, a permit must be granted to them. This regulation also allows for the phasing in of the new permitting scheme.

Regulations 4 and 5 deal with the procedure for the granting by the Secretary of State of permits, any conditions which may be attached to permits and the requirements for permit applications. Regulation 6 permits the Secretary of State to charge fees in relation to certain activities. Regulations 7 to 9 make provision for permits to be varied, assigned, revoked and surrendered in certain circumstances.

Regulation 10 authorises the Secretary of State to make allocation plans in relation to specified emissions, and to make provision for one or more emissions trading schemes for the purpose of facilitating the trading of allowances allocated under the allocation plans. Regulation 11 requires the Secretary of State to establish and maintain a registry to record the trading in allowances allocated under the allocation plans.

Regulations 12 to 14 deal with enforcement and give--

(a) the Secretary of State power to appoint inspectors whose powers and duties are set out in regulation 12, and the power to serve prohibition notices (regulation 14); and
(b) the Secretary of State or an inspector power to serve enforcement notices (regulation 13).

Regulation 15 gives an applicant for a permit, any permit holder, or any person the subject of a decision by the Secretary of State a right to appeal to the court against the Secretary of State's decisions under the Regulations. Regulation 16 creates offences. Regulation 17 deals with the services of notices and other documents.

Regulations 18, 19 and 20 deal with the disapplication and consequential modifications of enactments and amendments of other secondary legislation.

Schedules 1 and 2 effect amendments of the Offshore Combustion Installations (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Regulations 2001 and the Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002.

See link to OPSI website:
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20052055.htm


English & Welsh

The Animal By-Products Regulations 2005
These Regulations, made in August but which come into force on 28 September 2005 and which apply in England only, revoke and re-make the Animal By-Products Regulations 2003, which made provision in England for the administration and enforcement of Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 laying down health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption ("the Community Regulation").

They also enforce additional Community instruments which supplement and further amend the Community Regulation and make further transitional measures.

The Regulations also remove Community transitional measures that are now spent.

In addition, the Regulations repeal those provisions of the Slaughterhouses Act 1974 relating to knackers' yards in so far as they apply in England, as knackers' yards are now regulated under these Regulations.

They repeal section 6 of the Dogs Act 1906 in so far as it applies in England, which related to leaving carcases in such a way that dogs could gain access to them, and replace it with a provision in regulation 11 regulating access of all animals to animal by-products.

They also revoke the Rendering (Fluid Treatment) (England) Order 2001 and replace it with Schedule 2 to these Regulations.

Generally they provide in England for the administration and enforcement of measures in the Community Regulation in relation to import, export and trade between member States is made by separate instruments.

The Regulations provide as follows.

It is a specific offence to categorise, collect, transport, dispose, store, process or use, category 1, category 2 or category 3 material other than in accordance with the Community Regulation (regulations 4, 5 and 6). A mixture of mammalian and non-mammalian by-products are to be treated as mammalian by-products (regulation 7).

It is a specific offence to collect, transport, identify or store animal by-products other than in accordance with the Community Regulation (regulation 8).

Regulations 9 and 10 enforce the restrictions on the feeding of catering waste and processed animal protein in Article 22 of the Community Regulation. Additionally regulation 9 prohibits the feeding to farmed animals of other unprocessed animal by-products.

Regulation 11 restricts access to catering waste and other animal by-products.

Regulation 12 enforces the restrictions in Article 22 of the Community Regulation on the application of organic fertiliser to pasture land.

Regulations 13 to 15 provide for the approval of premises for the different types of treatment of animal by-products. Regulation 16 provides that composting on premises where the composted material originated does not need approval if the conditions of that regulation are complied with.

Regulations 17 to 21 provide for checks at plants, sampling and approved laboratories.

Regulations 22 to 24 regulate the placing on the market of various products derived from animal by-products.

Regulations 25 to 27 provide derogations relating to the use of animal by-products for taxidermy and feeding certain specified animals. Regulation 28 permits the burial of pet animals.

Regulation 29 permits burial and burning in remote areas, which are defined as Lundy Island and the Isles of Scilly. Regulations 30 and 31 provide for burial or burning in the event of a disease outbreak and for burning and burial of bees and apiculture products.

Regulations 32 to 39 provide for record keeping.

Regulations 40 to 42 provide for applications for approvals, authorisations and registrations, their suspension or revocation and for representations against a notice to amend, suspend or revoke them.

Under Regulations 43 to 45 an inspector can serve a notice requiring the disposal of animal by-product or catering waste and requiring cleansing and disinfection of any vehicle, container or premises. Any notice served under these Regulations shall be complied with at the expense of the person on whom the notice is served.

Regulations 46 and 47 provide powers of entry and an offence of obstructing an inspector.

The Regulations are enforced by the local authority except in specified premises (regulation 49).

Regulations 50 to 52 provide for transitional measures for technical products, photographic products from gelatine and milk (which do not have an expiry date).

Schedule 1 makes provision for biogas and composting plants.

Schedule 2 makes provision for the disposal of fluid from rendering ruminant animal by-products.
Schedule 3 provides for testing methods.

Schedule 4 contains transitional provisions relating to the disposal of former foodstuffs and to oloechemical plants (which do have an expiry date).

See link to OPSI website:-
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20052347.htm


Scottish

There is no exclusively Scottish environmental legislation to report.


Northern Irish

Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005
These Regulations, which were made on 24 August and which come into force on 10 October 2005, further amend the provisions of the Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002. The Regulations implement Commission Directive 2004/115/EC. The definition of "the Residues Directives" is updated (regulation 2(2)). In Schedule 1, which identifies the substances residues of which are taken into account in the measuring of residue levels for each pesticide, the residues for the pesticides Metalaxyl and Metalaxyl-M are replaced (regulation 2(3)). New maximum residue levels are substituted in Part II of Schedule 2 for residues of the pesticides Azoxystrobin, Fenhexamid, Fenpropimorph, Iprovalicarb, Maneb Mancozeb Metiram Propineb Zineb, Metalaxyl, Metalaxyl-M, Methomyl thiodicarb, Myclobutanil and Penconazole (regulation 2(4)).

See link to OPSI website:-
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/sr/sr2005/20050401.htm

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