EA launches legal compliance site for SMEs

The Environment Agency today officially launched its NetRegs project to provide a web-based service to assist SMEs in complying with environmental legislation.

The NetRegs services aims to interpret legislation in clear accessible and

specific terms to SMEs in over 100 business sectors within the next three years.

At today’s official launch the Environment Agency said that management

guidelines were available already for all sectors and committed to launching the

full service for the print and publishing, radio tv and communications, textiles,

and agriculture sectors by the end of March 2002.

Following this, the agency will focus on the construction sector and select

priority sectors according to their environmental impact, Richard Martin,

Project Manager, told edie.

“Part of the Agency’s vision for the future is to get environmental concerns at

the heart of everybody’s thinking,” said Sir John Harman,

Environment Agency Chairman. “The most important message we can send to

businesses is that environmental management is a fundamental part of business


“The Agency is not here to burden people unnecessarily with more things to do,

but to help them find more effective ways of doing things,” said Harman. “NetRegs will be

central to helping smaller businesses take control of what they should be doing

and getting them on the road to being more efficient in their daily operations

and thus more effective in protecting the environment.”

The Agency’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Advisor, Tim Fanshawe, added:

“Surveys show that most small businesses have little awareness of their

environmental responsibilities and are apprehensive about contacting regulators

for advice. Furthermore, many do not have the time or resources to wade through

long and complicated lists of legislation. The Environment Agency wants to

remove these barriers.

A pilot version of NetRegs has already been developed and funded by the

Environment Agency with support from Scottish Environment Protection Agency and

Environment and Heritage Service Northern Ireland (see related story).

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