Jan 2020 Environment Legal Updates Webinar (Slides and Recording)

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Welcome to the Environmental Legal Update Webinar which was delivered on 24 January 2020 by our senior environmental consultant, Ellie Galston.

This presentation covers changes to environmental guidance and key updates to legislation in the last 12 months. Please find below the slides, video and the questions asked during the session.

Click on the button below to download the slides.

Environment Legal Updates Webinar Recording

Q&A

Question Answer
Will the plastics products legislation also ban the so-called ‘flushable’ wipes? Wet wipes are included in the list in Part D of the legislation. EU Member States will be required to ensure that products Part D are clearly marked with the waste disposal means that should be avoided.

Wet wipes are also included in Part E which is the list of products Member States must establish producer responsibility schemes for.

This Directive however, does not require a ban on the use of wet wipes.

Will this webinar be available after today so that we can either view it again or share with colleagues? Yes, we will send out the slides via email and also provide to weblink to YouTube for a replay of the webinar.
What countries were involved in the Paris agreement?

 

 

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 197 attended the conference in Paris. 194 countries have now signed the agreement.

You can find out more about the Paris Agreement here: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/what-is-the-paris-agreement, although I have to say that the Wikipedia page gives a clearer overview and you can see the date each country signed and ratified the agreement.

Invasive Alien Species Order states Northern Ireland. Is there anything in place for the rest of the UK? There is The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 which covers the UK.

 

With regard to water abstraction in England,  I’ve had conflicting advice from the EA re pumping water out of construction excavations as to whether an abstraction license was required.  Can you confirm an abstraction license is only required if you are abstracting groundwater, as opposed to rainwater? An abstraction licence isn’t required to pump rainwater out of construction excavations. This is covered in a Regulatory Position Statement.

You will need to consider where the water you have pumped out is being discharged to though as it is likely to have large amounts of sediment, etc. in it.

Regarding the smart export regulation, does this extend to commercial?

 

The Smart Export Guarantee is for anyone who has installed one of the allowed technologies up to a capacity of 5MW; the generator can be part of a commercial organisation.
For the Smart Export Scheme is the price competitive and allows the producer of the green energy to choose which supplier needs to pay them or is it linked to the electricity supplier in place? Generators with an eligible installation need to apply to a Smart Export Guarantee Licensee for their payment for electricity they export to the National Grid. There is no requirement that the licensee has to be the same company as your energy supplier; you can choose an alternative company if you wish. You can shop around to find the best deal.
Is the English Energy Act provisions for commercial rented property band E still? The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 still has a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘E’. See the summary on LUS for when this applies to domestic and commercial rented property.
It appears most of updates are to do with Ireland? The Legislation Update Service covers the UK and Republic of Ireland. The legislation we cover during these webinars is dependent on what has been published in the period. This particular session has covered 3 pieces of EU law, 8 pieces of UK law, and 5 pieces of Republic of Ireland law, so a typical mix of what comes into force.
I missed the H&S update last week.  Is it possible to access this? Yes, the H&S webinar is available here.
Will the HSE have a register that the public  can view on the hazards of these substances as we have with ECHA As far as we understand, there is an IT system mirroring the current EU system being built to cater for information including new registrations. validation of registrations, downstream user notifications. This system is called UK REACH-IT. Further information on it is available on the HSE website in the Brexit section https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/reach-guidance.htm
Will the HSE request the certain information of imported chemicals? Do you have any idea what this information will be? The amendments to REACH will almost certainly not now commence until the end of the implementation period i.e. 11pm 31.12.2020.

After Exit Day, or more likely after the end of the implementation period, any organisation which imports chemicals from an EU Member State will need to open an account on the HSE’s UK REACH IT page, submit certain information within 180 days, and then register those chemicals in full within 2 years. The importer must be proactive about this (i.e. don’t wait for the HSE to contact them). There is much guidance here.

With regards to extra information you may need to provide to the HSE within 60 days and 2 years, how will we know if the HSE require more information, will they contact us to request this? The standard information which the HSE requires will presumably be listed when the registrant opens an account on the HSE’s UK REACH IT. If the HSE required additional information over and above the standard information which will be required, then I assume they will expressly ask for it.
Do you have any information on the proposed new legislation for the restriction of Diiscocyanates by ECHA? Diisocyanates are on the restriction list (see here).

See also this proposal for inclusion of further restriction on the restriction list here.

REACH is a complex topic and we are not specialists in it. Therefore if this is essential information for you, we would advise to seek specialist advice.

Will the plastic products legislation apply to construction business too? No, it won’t apply to the construction industry unless you are using any of those products mentioned.
Will you still cover EU legislation in LUS after Brexit? Yes, we have no plans to remove EU Legislation. We will continue to keep you up to date.

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