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EA puts back formal consultation

Hills yard
Will the EA's review really lead to a level playing field?

The EA has put back the formal consultation for Performance Regulation for EPR

According to the EA, moving to a performance based approach would enable them to better focus their regulation at sites regulated under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) on outcomes (rather than rules). They could then use innovation to realise step changes in improved environmental standards and economic efficiencies. They believe that this approach would further support a level playing field for businesses, and could recognise and reward those that voluntarily go beyond compliance.

The proposals include moving to four descriptive bands:
  • Exemplary
  • Expected
  • Improvement Needed
  • Significant Improvement Needed
They will support all permitted sites to meet the expected level of performance through concise, accessible and reliable advice and guidance, encouraging self-reporting and recognise positive operator behaviours in addressing minor incidents. However, if an operator displays unresponsive, obstructive, abusive or hostile behaviour, such as poor complaint handling, persistent non-payment of fees, unsatisfactory community engagement or unwillingness to comply, then this would lead to the site being in one of the two Improvement Needed bands. A site in an improvement band could expect to be the focus of regulatory effort; in many cases meaning enforcement or remediation action to reduce unacceptable risks. Exemplary will be for operators whose behaviour and compliance record provides verification that we can reduce our regulatory effort and will include a form of regulated self-assurance.
The plan for performance bands
The EA been working with internal colleagues from across the Environment Agency to create initial proposals for what performance based regulation may look like. They recognise that it is vital to engage with those who regulate and those who represent them to gain feedback and comment on these initial proposals. They will aim to formally consult on performance band proposals in January 2018. For further information contact: reg-interventions@environment-agency.gov.uk For further details you can visit the EA’s webpage here

July 2017

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