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EA crackdown on 130 ELV sites is branded "unfair and inappropriate"

By Greg Pitcher

Vehicle recyclers have hit out at the Environment Agency (EA) after 130 of them were threatened with being shut down within four weeks.

The EA served notices on 130 of the 170 scrap sites it visited in the build up to this weeks deadline for compliance with the End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Regulations.

Those firms were given four weeks to comply with the law on vehicle recycling that came into force on November 3 last year.

But the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) insisted giving sites individual compliance dates was unfair and counterproductive.

Those scrapyards whose compliance dates have expired only had to depollute to an agreed standard, while this latest crackdown asks for full compliance.

BMRA president George Bond said: BMRA has restated to the EA that the expectation that some operators should begin full depollution prior to other operators is inappropriate and unfair.

ELVs will simply flow away from those operators with the cost of full depollution to those operators with only the cost of partial depollution.

But Bond added: The BMRA accepts that these operators should begin full depollution once their compliance date has been reached. Hopefully, as we are now in November, the timescale involved is relatively short and the whole market will reach full compliance in four weeks time.

The EA clampdown involved 50 officers visiting sites across east, west and south Yorkshire.

EA environment management team leader Ian Cowie said: All sites that didnt comply with the regulations were served with a notice giving them four weeks to get up to scratch. If they dont comply within this timescale we could suspend their licence or even stop them from operating.

Ultimately sites that continually fail to comply with the law could end up in court and face a hefty fine or even go to prison.

But BMRA director general Neil Marshall played down this threat. He said: These notices do not have to be enforced. If you show signs you are working towards resolving the issues raised, the threat can be withdrawn.

Virtually all the 130 firms will be compliant within the specified four weeks, anyway. The EA has just sent out a reminder, and I have full confidence that all sites will heed it.

The ELV Regulations mean polluting substances must be removed from cars before they are crushed, and dismantling must take place on an impermeable surface.

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