New Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations
Published: 29 Jan 2013
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations SI 2012/3038 came into force on 1 January 2013.
They implement Directive 2003/87/EC, establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, and in particular the amendments made to it by Directive 2009/29/EC, which improve and extend the scheme. They replace and update existing UK Regulations by consolidating them into one statutory instrument, which integrates requirements for aircraft and stationary operators.
The publication ties in with Phase III of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which started on 1 January, and the new Regulations aim to improve and extend the EU ETS with the introduction of a centralised, EU-wide cap on emissions, new sectors and gases and harmonised rules on free allocation with a move toward the greater auctioning of allowances.
In addition, the Regulations:
- introduce an opt out scheme for eligible small emitters and hospitals, during Phase III of the EU ETS;
- aim to achieve more proportionate and consistent penalties, by moving to a civil sanctions regime, which regulators can apply with discretion;
- use the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) for hearing appeals in England and Wales.
Room available for HSENI free asbestos training
Published: 29 Jan 2013
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) has sent out a reminder that there is still time for trades people to sign up for free asbestos awareness training.
The "Asbestos Training Pledge NI" will run until 29 March 2013 and can be attended either in a classroom or online. Although the classroom places have nearly been filled, online courses are still available. The online course allows the user to log-in on any computer at a time that suits you.
This is important training and can help trades people to protect themselves from deadly asbestos.
There is still a lot of asbestos material in buildings. Any building built or refurbished before 2000 is likely to contain some asbestos. If you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises, you are the "duty holder" and have a legal duty to manage the risk from asbestos.
For information about the course, see hseni.gov.uk/asbestos/pledgeni or call 0800 0320 121.
For more information, see:
- Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/179.
Green Deal launched
Published: 28 Jan 2013
Householders are to be offered long-term loans to help make their homes more energy efficient under a new Government scheme.
Under the Green Deal, which was launched this month by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), households can use cheap loans to spend on energy-saving improvements, such as insulation and new boilers, with no upfront cost. DECC believe that hundreds more households than expected had already signed up for assessments to join the project, and official figures are currently being collated.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, "The Green Deal will help thousands of homes stay warm for less. Those people will benefit from energy saving improvements - and their energy bills will fall. The UK green sector is a success story. It is the sixth largest in the world and has a crucial part to play in building a strong economy. The Green Deal will support thousands of jobs, not just over the next few years, but in the long-term."
Anyone joining the scheme would first have to have their home reviewed by an independent assessor, advising on possible upgrades, costs and energy saving timescales. Green Deal providers would then calculate quotes for the proposed work, with households free to get multiple quotes before carrying out the changes. Improvements are installed at no initial cost, instead charges are covered with cheap loans via the not-for-profit Green Deal Finance Company, and recouped gradually through customers' electricity bills.
However, campaigners have warned that the scheme does not go far enough. Ed Matthews, head of fuel poverty campaign group Energy Bill Revolution said, "The Green Deal will not stop fuel poverty rocketing in the face of high gas prices. We call on the Prime Minister to use money from the carbon tax to super-insulate this country's homes. This will provide households with five times more subsidy to insulate their homes and not add a penny more to energy bills. It is enough to eliminate fuel poverty and in time cut bills for everyone. It is the just and fair solution."
For more information see the:
- Energy Act 2011;
- Green Deal (Acknowledgment) (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2012/214;
- Green Deal (Disclosure) Regulations SI 2012/1660;
- Green Deal (Acknowledgment) Regulations SI 2012/1661;
- Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgment, Redress etc.) Regulations SI 2012/2079;
- Green Deal (Qualifying Energy Improvements) Order SI 2012/2105;
- Green Deal (Energy Efficiency Improvements) Order SI 2012/2106;
- Consumer Credit (Green Deal) Regulations SI 2012/2798.
New PPC Regulations for Scotland
Published: 25 Jan 2013
The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2012/360 have been published and replace the previous Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2000/323. However, the previous regime still applies to existing permits, granted or applied for before 6 January 2013, until 6 January 2014.
The new Regulations will implement the requirements of Directive 2010/75/EU, on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (Recast), which aims to minimise pollution from various industrial activities throughout Europe. The main changes include:
- restructuring and rewording the legislation, although powers and provisions largely remain the same;
- increased status for European Commission Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Documents, which should be the main reference point for setting permit conditions;
- greater transparency of information for public consumption;
- minor changes to monitoring and reporting protocols, site condition reporting and the enforcement powers of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
These changes mainly affect existing Part A permit holders, with a small number affecting those with Part B permits. The new Regulations will also see a number of new activities, within the food and drink, waste and wood preserving sectors, incorporated into the PPC regime.
Record fine for planning breach
Published: 25 Jan 2013
A man from Doncaster has been fined a massive £250,000 and costs of £13,575.35 after he pleaded guilty of breaching an enforcement notice, issued by Doncaster Council, on five occasions.
Nigel Smith had laid hardcore at the farm to form a compound and brought in a residential caravan. He later introduced portable offices for business linked to the site as well as installing a number of shipping storage containers. As Mr. Smith did not have planning permission for any of this, the local planning authority served an enforcement notice which required Mr Smith to stop the activities.
Mr Smith unsuccessfully appealed against the enforcement notice and subsequently failed to comply with it. It was after he failed to comply with the notice twice that Doncaster Council took him to court where he was fined £2,000 in 2011, after which he continued to carry on his activities at the farm.
As a result, further action was taken, and he was convicted at Sheffield Crown Court of breaching an enforcement notice on five occasions, leading to one of the biggest fines given out in the UK.
Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, said, "I am pleased with this result. It sends a clear message that Doncaster Council will not tolerate people using land for unlawful and inappropriate purposes. We will always seek to prosecute in these cases."
For more information, see the:
It's snow joke!
Published: 24 Jan 2013
In the wake of the snowy conditions up and down the country, the Environment Agency have suggested that people should build snowmen to prevent flooding when everything starts to melt.
The unusual advice comes as weather experts predict a sudden thaw causing torrential rain and melting snow when temperatures swing from -13C to 13C over the weekend. This has lead to the Agency claiming that the public could help the situation by building snowmen in their gardens and driveways.
Spokesman Roy Stokes said the compacted snow and ice in snowmen will melt more slowly than snow on the ground, meaning there is less surface water come the time of a thaw. "Ideally if everybody built themselves a snowman that will slow the thaw down a bit. If you notice when people clear their drive the snow thaws away but the compacted piles stay which will give a balanced thaw, which would be helpful. We would rather it be a gradual thaw as if it does go too quick we are likely to see a few flood alerts. If you are at risk of flooding make sure you have got all your planning in place."
The Agency have since issued a further statement that the comments were intended as a joke. "While building snowmen is great fun, sadly it is unlikely to make a significant difference to the overall rate at which snow melts."