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EA consults on 'standard rules' permit

The Environment Agency (EA) is seeking comments on its proposed 'standard rules' permit which is under consultation. This move has been prompted by a Government streamlining of the Environmental Permitting (EP) system, which comes in April 2008. The EAs standard permit is for lower risk waste activities, and the consultation aims to find out if people in the sector think it correctly identifies risks associated with a range of waste management activities. Once the consultation is completed, information about the permit will be published by the EA. It is expected that this will be well before the new EP comes in. Explaining the role of the standard rules permit EA director of environmental protection Tricia Henton said: "They define how an operator must carry out an activity, for example by limiting the types of waste that can be brought onto site. If an operator wishes to carry out a certain activity, and can meet the standard rules, then they can apply for a standard permit. This will be cheaper and quicker than applying for bespoke permits, which require more detailed assessment, freeing up EA resources to target more risky operators and reducing the administrative burden on low-risk businesses. The new EP system is in keeping with our role as a modern, flexible regulator - encouraging operators to protect the environment, taking tough action on those who dont, and rewarding those who do by freeing them up from regulation and helping them reduce costs. This first consultation covers 28 low to medium risk operations that currently require a waste management licence, such as waste transfer stations, compost sites, civic amenity sites and mobile remediation plants.

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