Regulatory Functions

February 28th, 2017 by James Goudie KC

In R v Recycled Materials Supplies Ltd (2017) EWCA Crim 58 the Court considered the respective regulatory functions of the local authority and the Environment Agency under the now superseded Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (“the EPR”).  The Court determined that it was the Environment Agency, not the local authority, that had jurisdiction under Regulations 32 and 33 of the EPR over a company carrying on a massive operation recovering and processing multiple types of construction waste.  Duality of regulation was not to be encouraged.

There is a broad distinction based upon the size and seriousness of the potential risks of pollution. In general, regulation of the more serious and potentially more harmful activities is placed in the hands of the Environment Agency, with regulation at a lower level for less complex or less polluting activities falling upon the local authority.  The power of local authorities to exercise the function of issuing environmental permits is to be found in the EPR and is limited.

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