The Environment Agency has released details on a new cost recovery regime, which will mean poor-performing waste businesses could be billed three times as much as those who meet permit requirements.
A consultation running until 12 January has been published, covering a range of regulations including the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 and definition of waste services.
The EA said that if the charges go ahead, it would be able to invest more in its permitting services and help to drive up standards in the waste sector.
It is the latest step towards implementing a performance-based regulation strategy, which will see better performing sites receiving fewer inspections.
Under the proposals, a waste recovery plan application will cost £1,231 for each new, varied or revised plan submitted.
Business requiring an additional assessment of a Fire Prevention Plan will be asked to pay £1,241.
The fee for additional assessments on odour or noise management plans will be £1,246.
Waste incinerators and co-incinerators will face a fixed pre-construction charge and full subsistence charges as soon as construction begins.
Permit holders’ compliance will also be rated. Those who are deemed to be the worst performers will face a 200% increase in their EA fees.
The EA said: “We are committed to making sure our charges are fair and transparent, and reflect the full cost of providing our chargeable services. Most of our charges have been fixed for at least six years or more, and some do not fully reflect the costs of providing the service.
”We are making sure everyone pays for the service they receive and this will cause some changes in costs for some businesses.”
The charges will become applicable from 1 April 2018.
The EA added: ”The intent is, from that date, the new charging provisions will apply to our future regulatory actions.
“However, ‘fully paid for’ regulatory activities that are in progress having commenced before that date, will be completed under the remit of the existing charging scheme.
“For example, this means that applications received before 1 April 2018 will pay application charges due under the existing scheme.”
Neil Davies, EA director of regulated services, said: ”The proposed changes will mean that businesses pay for the full services they use rather than the public. This is more financially sustainable, will lead to a better service to businesses and long-term improvements to the environment.
“We have been engaging with trade associations in the past year while we were developing these proposals. Their input into this process has been really valuable and I urge them to take part in the consultation.”
Meanwhile, Chartered Institution of Wastes Management chief executive Colin Church has said a waste crime consultation, expected to be announced alongside the charges consultation, has not been published.
It was initially slated for release in the summer.
I understand that the long-awaited 2nd waste crime consultation from @DefraResource is now not being published alongside this one, regrettably— Colin Church (@DrColinChurch) November 30, 2017
- This article was updated at 4.55pm to include a quote from Neil Davies