Scotlands Radioactive substances exemptions
Published: 22 Feb 2011
The Radioactive Substances Exemption (Scotland) Order SSI 2011/147 has been published which will revoke and replace 18 existing exemption orders on 1 October 2011.
Registration for the accumulation of radioactive substances is required under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993, although there are exemptions for naturally occurring radioactivity and substances of low activity (amongst others). This Order will bring the current exemption orders together into one single piece of legislation, in order to provide clearer implementation of Directive 96/29/EURATOM, which allows for the exemption of radioactive materials up to specified concentrations and total quantities as well as for low-risk activities.
In England and Wales, theRadioactive Substances Act 1993 was brought under Schedule 23 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations SI 2010/675, with the exception of the exemption orders. These are currently under review with a view to introducing a new regime similar to that just introduced in Scotland.
Waste and contaminated land amendments
Published: 14 Feb 2011
The Waste and Contaminated Land (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Act 2011 received Royal Assent on 10 February 2011.
Once commenced, it will make a number of amendments to the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1997/2778, in order to strengthen and make clearer the existing statutory framework for waste on land. The amendments also legislate for a partnership approach between the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland and local government in tackling illegal waste activity.
In particular, this Act makes some changes to the provisions contained in the Order for managing land that has been contaminated by pollution. Although those provisions have not yet come into force, they mainly reflect lessons learned through experience of similar legislation in England and Wales.
Published: 09 Feb 2011
The Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2011/127 complete the UK's implementation of Directive 2008/98/EC and as a result, make extensive amendments to existing waste legislation in order to reflect its objectives.
Those objectives are to:
- protect the environment and human health;
- reduce waste and encourage it to be used as a substitute for other non-renewable resources;
- make sure the EU becomes a recycling society.
However, they do introduce some freestanding provisions, which include establishing:
- waste prevention programmes, which must be:
- monitored and evaluated,
- reviewed and modified, and
- open to the public to comment on;
- duties relating to:
- the waste hierarchy,
- the collection of waste, and
- collected waste.
How cool are you?
Published: 09 Feb 2011
Following the recent lower threshold for air conditioning inspections, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has called for their mandatory lodgement. The new threshold includes all systems with an output of 12KW or more, and came into effect from 4 January 2011. This means that most air-conditioned spaces of over 2,000 square feet should now have an air conditioning certificate.
Hywel Davies, CIBSE Technical Director said, “With the recent changes in the threshold, a lot more buildings now require an inspection. CIBSE believes it is the ideal time to introduce the mandatory lodgement of air conditioning inspections to help monitor compliance. It will enable us to build up a national picture of air conditioning.”
The Government has announced that it will take forward proposals to make it mandatory to lodge air conditioning reports following an industry-wide consultation, but the timescales are still to be determined.
Davies went on to say, “Implementing a mandatory lodgement requirement for air conditioning inspections will bring an increased focus on these inspections. Air conditioning inspections have the lowest compliance rates, we think below 5%. The industry needs to increase compliance to achieve carbon emissions reductions targets and increase the energy efficiency of buildings.”
He added that the mandatory lodgement will provide a central register enabling much better information on air conditioning installations, and that it will bring air conditioning inspections into line with energy performance certificates and display energy certificates, which are already collated and stored in a central database.
For more information, see:
- A guide to air-conditioning inspections for buildings;
- Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2007/991.
Safety review 2011
Published: 08 Feb 2011
Details have been revealed of Professor Ragnar Löfstedt's review, which was announced in April as part of a shake-up of the health and safety system.
Within the scope of the review will be the 200-plus statutory instruments owned and enforced by the HSE and local authorities, along with their associated Approved Codes Of Practice. However, the review will not focus on the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 or the other Acts in question, which relate to health and safety offences, offshore safety and explosives.
Regulations owned and regulated by bodies other than the HSE and local authorities, such as those dealing with fire, product and transport safety as well as other issues widely believed to be health and safety, such as working time, will also not be covered by the review.
Its findings are expected in the autumn.
Published: 01 Feb 2011
Lord Young's health and safety report recommended that RIDDOR be amended by extending to seven days the period before an injury or accident needs to be reported. Employers are currently required to report an incident if an employee is absent from work for more than three days following an incident or injury at work.
The deadline for responses is 11 April 2011, after which the HSE will consider the information acquired. It expects to be in a position to submit recommendations to the Secretary of State by the end of May