Environment Agency launches consultation on business charges proposals

The Environment Agency (EA) is to review the cost of its permits and business charges after launching a public consultation yesterday (30 November). Proposals detailed in the EA’s Strategic Review of Charges are designed to reduce the burden of business regulation on the public coffers, with businesses to bear the full cost of the EA’s services they use as opposed to having them subsidised by the public purse.

The new proposals aim to bring about a simplified and more consistent charging arrangement to reflect the amount of regulatory effort needed at a given site. Well-managed and low-hazard businesses presenting a low environmental risk would be charged less, while higher-risk or poor-performing businesses would be charged more.

Pertaining to the waste management sector, the following proposed changes include:

The hazardous waste treatment sector will see an overall decrease in charges;

The non-hazardous waste sector’s overall income will see a slight overall reduction, but this varies across the different permit categories;

The biowaste treatment sector will see increased charges. A sector with many resource intensive amenity issues, larger biowaste facilities will see charges increasing by around 100 per cent, while the smaller sites will see costs remain broadly the same; and

The metal recycling sites will see increases throughout the charge categories, with those larger sites recently falling to control under the Industrial Emission Directive requiring more resources than was envisaged under previous charging regimes.