Brexit Briefing: Joint Report on the Phase 1 Negotations


Based on the current status of the UK / EU negotiations for Brexit, a Joint report has been published from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union.

The report covers the rights of EU and UK citizens to have free movement of rights until the day (29 March 2019) the UK withdraws from the EU. This, in effect, is the cut-off date for EU citizens moving to the UK.

Anyone who arrives before the above Brexit day will have the right to stay. Those who are yet to be granted permanent residency in the UK will have their rights protected, so they can still acquire it after withdrawal.

The deal allows for reunification rights for relatives who do not live in the UK, to join them in the future & these rights extend to future spouses or partners of EU citizens.

Additionally, the joint report covers the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with the following extracted text:

“The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom’s intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement”.

It is difficult to perceive how the “…guarantee of avoiding a hard border.” in the absence of a Customs Union and the Single Market. Only time will tell, whether this solution is practical or will lead to a “dual border”; one with the Republic of Ireland as an EU Member with a land border with the UK & the UK border with the EU, as a general principle.

Furthermore, the joint report provides for continued UK funding of the EU until 2020 as follows:

“The UK will contribute to, and participate in, the implementation of the Union annual budgets for the years 2019 and 2020 as if it had remained in the Union (including revenue adjustments), on the basis of the applicable Union legal provisions including the Own Resources legislation”.

with further calculation of the value of the final financial settlement to be determined by specific principles described in the report.

A copy of the “Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union” cane be freely downloaded here.

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Disposing of trees and plants infected with disease


Disposing of trees and plants infected with disease

Disposing of trees and plants infected with disease

The Environment Agency for England has issued a new regulatory position statement (RPS 71), which applies to business who need to dispose of trees and plants that are infected with the following diseases without an environmental permit for a waste operation:

As with all Environment Agency RPS, if you follow its conditions, you do not need to apply for the full requirements for an environmental permit provided the activity does not (and is not likely to) cause environmental pollution or harm human health.

However, if you cannot comply with its conditions then you must apply for an environmental permit for the disposal of trees and planets infected by disease.

It should be noted that the Environment Agency and other Environment Agencies within the United Kingdom are not the sole regulatory agency, the Food and Environment Research Agency and Forestry Commission are responsible for controlling the spread of these fungi. If these diseases are found, they’ll issue a plant health notice that tells you what you must do to eradicate and contain these fungi.

These actions will be to:

  • remove and destroy plants and trees
  • remove and destroy plant debris and surrounding leaf litter
  • eradicate surrounding plants and trees so that the disease is contained
  • remove and bury soil associated with the diseased plants

 

Disposal of trees and plants
Vegetation and trees infected with the above diseases must be disposed of in accordance with the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations, which can involve the process to Register your waste exemptions: environmental permits (England) with the Environment Agency to:

Alternative, you can take round wood from infected felled trees to mills and wood processing facilities as long as they have the necessary licences from the Forestry Commission.

You must make sure the way you dispose of trees and plants infected with disease does not endanger human health or the environment. You must not:

  • cause a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance through noise or odours
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest

 

Time Expiry of RPS
RPS 71 is time-limited for a further review in August 2020. You should check back with the Environment Agency on the outcome of their review later in 2020.

A copy of the Environment Agency’s Regulatory Position Statement 71 is freely available here

 

ACTION POINTS

  1. Review your current activities to understand whether the Environment Agency’s RPS 71 applies to your organisation and activities as a compliance obligation.
  2. If RPS 71 applies to your activities, apply for the relevant waste exemption or environmental permit.
  3. Check back for any revised guidance with the Environment Agency in August 2020
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Brexit Briefing: Weekly Media Summary – 1 December 2017


Brexit Briefing - Weekly Summary

Brexit Briefing – Weekly Summary

This Friday’s edition of the Brexit Briefing is part of the series of posts to highlight articles published in the media covering Brexit from an environmental perspective.

The articles are presented in chronological order with the most recent articles first. They are not presented in any specific order of importance & are provided as a selected sample of news articles to promote understanding of the key environmental issues as they develop during the Brexit process.

The selected articles from this past week, which saw the Teresa May (UK Prime Minister) prepares to make a further Brexit settlement offer, the Brexit Papers, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) pressure & Ireland stand firm on the Brexit Irish / Northern Ireland Border issue, are:

EU Tells May: If Brexit Offer Is Unacceptable To Ireland, It’s Unacceptable To Us (Huffington Post, 1 December 2017)

Brexit: Environment department distances itself from Ian Paisley’s ‘shake Dublin’s cage’ call (The Irish News, 1 December 2017)

May’s Brexit Breakthrough at Risk as Irish Parties Dig In (Bloomberg, 30 November 2017)

Brexit negotiators believe end to Irish border impasse is near (The Guardian, 29 November 2017)

David Davis under pressure to reveal more Brexit impact information under threat of Commons censure vote – Politics live (The Guardian, 28 November 2017)

David Davis could be in contempt of parliament over Brexit studies (The Guardian, 28 November 2017)

Ireland: From poor man, to tiger, to comeback kid (CNBC, 27 November 2017)

U.K. Faces Brexit Deadline on Ireland as Varadkar Clings On (Bloomberg, 27 November 2017)

Lord Deben: Green regulatory oversight critical to soften ‘damaging’ Brexit (edie, 27 November 2017)

UK could be out of CAP early despite anger from farming industry (FarmingUK, 25 November 2017)

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Classifying Waste Wood


Classifying Waste Wood

Classifying Waste Wood

The Environment Agency for England has issued a new regulatory position statement (RPS 207) applies to business who:

  • produce waste wood
  • transport waste wood
  • keep waste wood
  • process waste wood
  • control waste wood – if you are a dealer or broker
  • use waste wood
  • dispose of waste wood

It allows treated or mixed waste wood (including chipped waste wood and wood fines), which could be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous and has not been assessed and classified in line with the Technical Guidance WM3: Waste Classification – Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste, to continue to be classified as non-hazardous.

Under this RPS,  the term “treated waste wood” is any waste wood, processed wood or wood fuel that contains, in any quantity, wood that’s been preserved, varnished, coated, painted or exposed to chemicals.

As with all Environment Agency RPS, if you follow its conditions, you do not need to apply for a hazardous waste classification for treated or mixed waste wood. However, if you cannot comply with its conditions then you must apply for a hazardous waste classification for treated or mixed waste wood. See the Environment Agency’s guidance on how to Classify different types of waste.

 

PRS 207 Conditions
The waste wood must be destined for:

  • an Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) Chapter IV compliant permitted incinerator or co-incinerator
  • the manufacture of board

This includes the waste wood you are storing or pre-treating for these purposes.

If you are going to use treated or mixed waste wood for any other purpose, you must do both of the following:

You must not assign a waste classification to the outputs from wood processing, or move it or send it anywhere unless you have done both of the above activities

 

Waste Transfer Note
The Waste Transfer Note must include your description of the waste wood as “unassessed waste wood, including treated wood, for IED Chapter IV compliant incineration or co-incineration or board manufacture only”.

Consignment Note
As this RPS does not apply to waste wood that is known and is classified as hazardous, such as:

  • railway sleepers
  • telegraph poles
  • wood treated with creosote

Any waste movement of the above hazardous waste wood (or unsegregated wood containing the above hazardous wastes) must be moved as “hazardous waste” using a consignment note.

 

 

Time Expiry of RPS
RPS 207 is time-limited and is proposed to be withdrawn on 1 November 2018 to allow the waste wood industry time to:

  • deliver a code of practice which meets the legal requirements to assess and classify waste wood as approved by the Environment Agency
  • implement compliance with that code of practice

After 1 November 2018, all unassessed waste wood must be classified as hazardous including any waste wood that has entered the waste management system and/or has been stockpiled under this RPS.

A copy of the Environment Agency’s Regulatory Position Statement 207 is freely available here

 

ACTION POINTS

  1. Review your current activities to understand whether the Environment Agency’s RPS 207 applies to your organisation and activities as a compliance obligation.
  2. If RPS 207 applies to your activities follow the conditions of the RPS.
  3. Check back for any revised guidance with the Environment Agency in October 2018
Posted in Business Benefits, Compliance, Environment Agency, Waste | Leave a comment

Burial at Sea Requirements in the United Kingdom


Burial at Sea Requirements in the United Kingdom

Burial at Sea Requirements in the United Kingdom

In a recent publication from the UK’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the specifications for coffins for burial at sea have been confirmed.

Whilst this article is a little outside the normal environmental and sustainability issues, there is quite a demand for sea burials and so it is important to set out the compliance requirements for those families planning a burial & for organisations, which will need to incorporate the requirements into their compliance obligations under ISO 14001:2015.

Firstly, it should be noted that you do not need a licence or permission to scatter ashes at sea after a cremation.

It is, however, a requirement for burials at sea to be regulated by a licence obtained from either;

Marine Management Organisation
For burials in England and offshore areas of Wales and Northern Ireland, the licence can be applied for here

Natural Resources Wales
For burials in inshore areas of Wales, licences can be applied for here.

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
For burials in inshore areas of Northern Ireland you’ll need a licence from the here.

Burial, Cremation and Death Certification Team
For burials at sea in Scotland, an application for a licence should be initiated by e-mail to certificationofdeath@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

Application process for a licence for burial at sea
The application should be accompanied by the following documents:

  • the death certificate
  • a Certificate of Freedom from Fever and Infection (available from the deceased person’s GP or hospital doctor)
  • a Notice to a Coroner of Intention to Remove a Body out of England (available from the coroner in exchange for a Certificate of Disposal provided by the registrar)

You might also have to provide evidence your proposed burial location is suitable, such as water depth, currents, pipelines and fishing, should be supplied.

A licence costs £50 for any burial:

  • off The Needles, Isle of Wight
  • between Hastings and Newhaven
  • off Tynemouth, North Tyneside

Elsewhere, any burial in England or in the offshore areas of Wales or Northern Ireland, the licence will cost £175.

If the burial will be more than 3 months after the licence application, the licence will cost £175.

 

Coffin requirements for burial at sea
The recent MMO guidance stipulates that a coffin for sea burials should be constructed to the following specification:

The coffin must be made of solid softwood and must not contain any plastic, lead, copper or zinc.

It must have:

  • between 40 and 50 50 mm (2 inch) holes drilled throughout
  • corners butt-jointed and strengthened with mild steel right angle brackets screwed internally, or substantial wooden bracing struts 50 x 38 mm
  • about 200 kg of iron, steel or concrete clamped to the base of the coffin with brackets of 10mm mild steel bar, or blocks of weak concrete mix
  • weight distributed evenly to prevent the coffin from turning to the vertical
  • 2 long mild steel bands running from the top to the bottom of the coffin
  • several mild steel bands across the coffin at about 30 cm intervals along its length

The coffin and any inner box or liner must be made from natural, non-toxic and biodegradable materials. They must both be able to withstand any impact and be able to carry the body quickly to the seabed.

The guidance on the specifications for a coffin to be used in a burial at sea can be freely accessed here

 

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Brexit Briefing: Weekly Media Summary – 24 November 2017


Brexit Briefing - Weekly Summary

Brexit Briefing – Weekly Summary

This Friday’s edition of the Brexit Briefing is part of the series of posts to highlight articles published in the media covering Brexit from an environmental perspective.

The articles are presented in chronological order with the most recent articles first. They are not presented in any specific order of importance & are provided as a selected sample of news articles to promote understanding of the key environmental issues as they develop during the Brexit process.

The selected articles from this past week, which saw the UK Budget preparing for Brexit and conflicting viewpoints on the regulatory position on animal sentience, are:

Michael Gove hits back in animal sentience Brexit row (The Herald, 24 November 2017)

Brexit is already wrecking our economy, and the Budget is the proof (The Independent, 23 November 2017)

As Brexit Crunch Nears, EU Trade Plans Said to Fall Short (Bloomberg, 23 November 2017)

Hammond: UK must be ready for all foreseeable outcomes from Brexit talks (bt News, 23 November 2017)

Interview: Roseanna Cunningham on what Brexit means for the environment (Hollyrood, 23 November 2017)

Jeremy Corbyn accuses the government of being in a Brexit ‘shambles’ (BusinessInsiderUK, 22 November 2017)

UK approach to Brexit ‘chaotic’ – leaked Irish report (BBC News, 23 November 2017)

UK universities ‘face disaster within weeks’ without clear Brexit plan (The Guardian, 22 November 2017)

Farm support measures could go ‘green’ post Brexit (FarmingLife, 22 November 2017)

Theresa May’s cabinet agrees to pay £40 billion Brexit divorce bill (BusinessInsiderUK, 21 November 2017)

Brexit: UK ‘ready to pay more to the EU’ (BBC News, 21 November 2017)

MSPs hold private meeting with Lords over Westminster’s Brexit power grab (The National, 21 November 2017)

 

Government plays its green card (Footprint, 20 November 2017)

MPs Vote Down Brexit Bill Amendment To Recognise Animals Feel Pain And Emotion (LADBible, 20 November 2017)

Replace farm subsidies with market-system for farmers to bid for green contracts, report urges (Farminguk, 20 November 2017)

We need a Budget that enables departments to plan for Brexit (City A.M., 20 November 2017)

Aerospace giants demand quick post-Brexit deal with EU (itv News, 20 November 2017)

 

 

The Conservative-DUP alliance has managed to scrap a crucial EU law, putting untold numbers of animals at risk (theCanary, 18 November 2017)

Defra seeking ‘talented free thinkers’ to shape post-Brexit farm policy (Farminguk, 18 November 2017)

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LEGISLATION UPDATE: New UK Habitats Regulations 2017


The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017

The new Regulations (The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1012) consolidate the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (S.I. 2010/490) with subsequent amending instruments, and make minor modifications reflecting changes to related legislation.

They are designed to transpose Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (“the Habitats Directive”).

It should be noted that the Regulations extend to England and Wales (including the adjacent territorial sea) & to Scotland in respect of reserved matters and to Northern Ireland in respect of excepted matters.

The Regulations come into-force on Thursday, 30 November 2017.

As a consequence of the new Regulations, the whole of The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. 2011/625) has been revoked with the revocation of the following Regulations with the exception of the highlighted regulations:

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (S.I. 2010/490) with the exception of:

(a) regulations 1 to 3;
(b) regulation 73 so far as it relates to planning permission granted by a general development order made before 30th November 2017;
(c) regulation 77 so far as it relates to a special development order made before 30th November 2017;
(d) regulation 78 so far as it relates to a local development order made before 30th November 2017;
(e) regulation 78A so far as it relates to a neighbourhood development order made before 30th November 2017;
(f) regulation 79 so far as it relates to a simplified planning zone scheme adopted or approved before 30th November 2017;
(g) regulation 80 so far as it relates to—
(i) an order designating an enterprise zone made before 30th November 2017, or
(ii) a modified enterprise zone scheme approved before that date;
(h) regulation 132;
(i) Schedule 6

The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/1927) , the whole Regulations except for:
(a) regulations 1, 25 and 26; and
(b) regulation 2, so far as it relates to regulations 25 and 26

Any organisation with a legal obligation to protect habitats and species should revise their Legal Register and to review the compliance obligations and actions necessary to ensure compliance.

A copy of the Regulations can be freely downloaded here

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