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Change in hazardous waste regulations will help small businesses

Site operators producing less than 500 kilograms of hazardous waste a year will no longer have to notify the Environment Agency that their site is producing hazardous waste, from April 6, because of an amendment to the 2005 Hazardous Waste Regulations.

Under the current system, only site operators producing less than 200 kilograms of hazardous waste a year at a site are exempt from notification.

In an explanatory memorandum, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs explained: This achieves the policy objective of reducing the regulatory burden on businesses while maintaining the requisite level of environmental protection. Hazardous waste produced at these premises is still subject to the remaining provisions of the 2005 Regulations.

The main objective of the amendment is to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses and enable the EA to target its enforcement activity more appropriately.

Defra estimates that 72,600 fewer producers will be required to notify the EA, saving each producer £18-20 per notification, equal to a total saving between £1.59 million and £1.76 million a year.

The regulatory change follows a consultation on amendments to the Hazardous Waste Regulations which was launched by Defra in November 2008 and February 2009.

The Hazardous Waste Regulations came into force on 16 July 2005 and set down the regime for the control and tacking of the movement of hazardous waste for the purpose of implementing the Hazardous Waste Directive. The Regulations include a requirement for hazardous waste producers to notify their premises to the EA before hazardous wastes can be removed from the premises.

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