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Defra to cut red tape with regulatory revisions - COMMENT UPDATE

Waste management licenses (WML) and pollution prevention controls (PPC) will be restructured to cut the cost and burden of red tape for businesses, the Government has announced. A single environmental permit will be introduced in April 2008, which will be less than a third of the size of previous regulatory documents. The Government estimates that its streamlining will save industry and regulators about £76 million over 10 years. It will also mean that more than 40 separate legal instruments will be combined into a single set of regulations under new Environmental Permitting Regulations. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh Assembly Government and the Environment Agency (EA) consulted on the changes last year and expect the revised system to offer: a simpler permit application process with less paperwork; much clearer guidance; and more flexibility for businesses to make changes. A 'standard rules' permit for lower risk waste activities will also be introduced. It is being developed in consultation with industry and will be published by the EA before the new system comes into force. Defra said that planning controls will still apply parallel to activities covered by the new permits. When the new system comes into effect all existing WML or PPC permits will automatically become environmental permits. Outstanding applications will become environmental permits if the application is granted. Environment Minister Joan Ruddock said: "This is a very welcome commonsense move. It will increase clarity and cut the administrative burden for a number of organisations without compromising the existing high standards of protection for the environment and human health. Cutting red tape also means regulators will be able to spend more time pursuing the minority of operators who deliberately flout the rules." For more information visit the Defra website: Comment: I presume that these new permits will be issued free of charge to existing licence holders, just like the Electrical Wholesalers have been given a free Exemption for WEEEE, Oh no I forgot we are the waste industry and can be tapped for more money at will. Posted by: Norman Kemp, Hazchem Waste Disposal 11/10/07

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