Defra has announced that tougher fly-tipping powers will come into force on 6 April.
The new legislation will grant additional powers to councils, the Environment Agency (EA) and Natural Resources Wales to stop, search and seize vehicles suspected of being involved in waste crime.
The range of offences for which a vehicle can be seized include:
- breaches of the waste duty of care
- operation of an illegal waste site
- carrying controlled waste while unauthorised to do so
In 2013-14, local authorities recorded 852,000 fly-tipping incidents, with an estimated clear-up cost of £45.2m.
Resource minister Dan Rogerson said: “Fly-tipping blights communities and poses a risk to human health, which is why we are supporting the seizure of vehicles suspected of involvement in this pernicious crime.”
The powers have been announced as part of the Government’s Waste Crime Action Plan, which includes a raft of proposals to deal with waste crime. Specific proposals include:
- increased intervention at poor performing sites so that none remains a poor performer for more than 18 months
- a review of whether it should be easier to suspend or revoke an environmental permit when significant non-compliance is found
- consideration of a new statutory mechanism to allow the EA to re-charge waste sites for pollution clean-up costs
- greater scrutiny of newly permitted sites within their first year of operation
- a review of the regulation of waste carriers, brokers and dealers with a report on recommendations for improvement