The new Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations SI 2018/647 have been published, revoking and replacing the previous Regulations from 2010. They came into force on 1 June 2018 and apply to both England and Wales.

Legislative background

As with the previous Regulations, they are mainly concerned with the quality of water supplied by water undertakers, who supply areas mainly or wholly in Wales. The new Regulations implement Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption.

Provisions of new Regulations

Under these Regulations, water undertakers are required to identify the areas that are to be water supply zones on an annual basis. A water supply zone cannot exceed 100,000 in terms of population before the beginning of each year of the supply.

The standards of wholesomeness are set out, in respect of water for human consumption, be that through drinking, washing, food preparation or cooking and food production. In order to qualify as wholesome, the water cannot contain any:

  • micro-organism, other than those listed in the full text of Schedule 1 to the Regulations, or parasite; or
  • substances, other than those listed in the full text of Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

Monitoring regimes and provisions relating to parameters set out in the Schedules to these Regulations are also given, alongside requirements to monitor for indicative doses or radon and tritium amongst other things.

Finally, provisions are set out for sampling from a range of points and for the purposes of sampling for particular organisms and substances.

Provisions are also given as to maintaining records, which contain details such as:

  • the name of the zone in question;
  • an estimate of the population of the zone;
  • the name of every water treatment works, service reservoir and other supply point from which the water is supplied to premises within the zone; and
  • particulars of any results of any analysis of samples taken,

amongst other things.

For more information, see the:

BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd has been fined after an elderly resident of the Hutton Village Nursing Home, which the company operates, died after contracting Legionnaires' disease.

Three months after moving into the care home in March 2015, Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, contracted a serious waterborne form of pneumonia and died in the hospital shortly after.

The investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident revealed that the health care provider failed to implement the necessary measures required to manage their cold and hot water system. It was also found that persons responsible for overseeing legionella controls in the facility had not been appropriately trained to the required standard.

Speaking after the hearing, Vicky Fletcher, HSE principal inspector said on the subject:

"It is heart-breaking to think Kenneth contracted Legionnaires' a matter of weeks after moving into the Hutton Village Care Home. His Family have been left devastated by his sudden death.

"Mr Ibbetson and other residents have been exposed to the risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease because adequate controls were not in place. The risk is more acute in care home settings because residents are more susceptible to their underlying health conditions. We would expect those who have a duty of care to understand this and have the necessary controls in place to manage the risk."

BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching their general duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £3 million and ordered to pay £151,482 in costs.

For more information on control and management of the risk of Legionnaires' disease:

  • INDG458 - Legionnaires' disease - a brief guide for dutyholders;
  • L8 - the control of legionella bacteria in water systems approved code of practice; and
  • INDG376 - Essential information for providers of residential accommodation.

Stop everything, Ben and Jerry's have announced their creative campaigning method for onshore windfarm support.

Half price, punnily-named (see what we did there?) ice cream.

Available on "Windy Wednesdays", the campaign sees a variety of popular ice cream flavours renamed to such delights as:

  • Cherry Gale-cia;
  • Caramel Blew Blew; and
  • Strawberry Breeze-cake.

Now, as much as this is positive publicity and advertising for the Unilever-owned dessert giant, it's worth recognising the efforts of the company regarding social issues, such as those on the environment, equality and fair trade.

It was only a few years ago that the then-Australian environment minister, Andrew Powell, asked Australians to boycott the company, over their anti-dredging campaign. He stated that the campaign falsely portrayed the reef's environmental reputation in the midst of several worrying media features.

It also opposed drilling the Arctic, and supports environmental charity and campaign group, WWF.

So, what's not to love about this? Positive campaigning for on-shore windfarms, clever uses of language and half-price ice cream?

Sounds good to us.

Following an international outcry after the Volkswagen "dieselgate" scandal broke out, the UK Government consulted and now is going to introduce new legislation which aims to tackle car emissions cheating.

The new legislation, which has just been published and begins to come into force on 1 July 2018, will introduce fines for carmakers who are found to be fitting new vehicles with so-called "defeat devices" which, once detected, the vehicle is run in a laboratory setting, significantly reducing the exhaust emissions measured during the test.

The new Regulations will make the supply of a vehicle containing a prohibited defeat device a punishable offence. If such device has been found by the authorities, the carmaker can be fined up to £50,000 for each vehicle.

The new legislation will amend the Passenger Car (Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations SI 2001/3523 as well as the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations SI 2009/717 in order to deal with amendments to the EU legislation, which they implement, following the scandal.

This comes after the recent publication of the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan and Clean Air Strategy, which aims to significantly reduce the air pollution from transport and help to transition to ultra low and zero-emission vehicles.

Jesse Norman, the Transport Minister said on the subject: "There has rightly been a huge public outcry against car manufacturers that have been cheating emissions standards. Their behaviour has been dishonest and deplorable.

"These tough new Regulations are designed to ensure that those who cheat will be held to proper account in this country, legally and financially, for their actions."

Cedrec's take

During our Legislation Roadshow this year, we have covered this subject, also mentioning the roadside tests undergone by the DVLA, where they have found hundreds of cars fitted with the defeat devices.

Although new legislation which aims to tackle dishonest manufacturers who secretly pollute our environment and harm our health is welcome, the defeat device strategy was found to be used only in Volkswagen vehicles, who have now stopped their use and reimbursed the British taxpayer a total of (only) £1.1 million for the costs. Recent studies revealed that over 90% of the current Euro 6 rated diesel cars, released as recently as 2016, significantly exceed emission levels.

Without punishing the vast majority of the carmakers who produce diesel cars that still fail to meet the emission limits, there will be no defeat devices, but the cars and carmakers will simply stop pretending to be clean.

For more information, see the:

  • Road Vehicles (Defeat Devices, Fuel Economy and Type-Approval) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2018/673;
  • Passenger Car (Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations SI 2001/3523.

Lincolnshire-based recycling company Mid UK Recycling Ltd. have been handed down a fine of £100,000 following a serious fire at their premises at Barkston Heath, Ancaster, in July 2015.

The large fine comes in addition to orders to pay costs in the region of £50,000, and the company also agreed compensation to the sum of £230,000 to the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue as a consequence of the blaze.

As a result of the fire, 90 firefighters were called to the scene and nearby roads were closed due to the large amount of thick smoke. Residents were also advised to stay indoors and shut windows and doors. The blaze burned for nearly a week before finally being deemed extinguished.

The fire broke out spontaneously, destroying a stockpile of waste consisting of carpet, mattresses and plastic bottles. Inspectors had previously found that it was around several hundred tonnes, piled to nearly 10 metres in height and with no appropriate fire breaks.

Mid UK did not remove the waste as requested, and were served an enforcement notice in July 2014, with which it not comply.

The sentencing was passed by Judge John Pini, QC, who stated that the company, who have contracts with a range of local authorities to collect recyclable waste, have a "history of not complying with guidance and enforcement notices."

Judge Pini spoke during the sentencing, stating that "the repeated guidance and the failure to heed it properly, with knowledge of the risks, is to a considerable extent what grounds recklessness as opposed to negligence."

The owner company of the site, MC Mountain and Sons Ltd. and the managing director, Mowbray Christopher Mountain, pleaded guilty to five charges of breaching planning and environmental legislation and failing to comply with an enforcement notice, but no separate penalty was given.

Mountain said that, since the fire, the company had made changes and had a bespoke fire prevention plan from the Environment Agency.

Call for Evidence on waste crime
Published: 13 Jun 2018

The fight against waste crime has taken a significant step forward, with the announcement of a comprehensive review aimed at tightening the Government's approach.

Waste criminals act illegally to evade landfill tax, undercut responsible waste disposal businesses, operate illegal waste sites, export waste illegally and fly-tip. Their activity cost the English economy more than £600 million in 2015 and more than 850 new illegal waste sites were discovered in 2016-17. This review is the next step in the ongoing work to tackle the problem.

The launch of "A call for Evidence" will enable a wide discussion on ways to crack-down further on Organised Crime Groups, who profit from waste crime.

Lead by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair's (DEFRA) Non-Executive Director, Lizzie Noel, the review will consider:

  • the extent and nature of crimes being committed;
  • characteristics of organised crime groups involved;
  • examples of environmental, community and economic impacts;
  • examples of where response to the threat is working well, or less well;
  • views on Environment Agency, police, National Crime Agency (NCA) and local government responses;
  • suggested improvements to prevention and law enforcement.

Lizzie Noel commented: "The health of our communities, environment, and economy is being harmed by organised groups committing serious waste crimes.

This review is an opportunity to properly understand the extent of this criminal activity, and I look forward to working with a range of partners to ensure our response is robust and effective."

The announcement builds on new measures introduced by the Government to tackle waste crime. These include powers for the Environment Agency to lock the gates to problem waste sites to prevent waste illegally building up, and forcing operators to clear all the waste at such sites.

In addition, extra powers have been given to councils, making is easier for them to stop, search and seize vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping, and to issue on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers.

For more information, see:

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