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Environmental law compliance – get your client to take the 5 minute test

27th August 2015

Many businesses see environmental and health & safety legislation as burdensome and imposing unnecessary costs. The Cut EU red tape report in October 2013 recommended that small, low risk businesses should not need to keep written health & safety risk assessments.

There have not been many changes to environmental law so far. The Environment Agency has the option of reviewing waste invoices instead of inspecting waste transfer notes.

The remaining body of UK and EU environmental law appears untouched and climate change legislation and policy seems to change on a monthly basis. How can a business keep up to date?

Keith Davidson at ELM Law highlights the important environmental laws that SMEs need to know about.

Check if your client is compliant with environmental law

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

  • Was your building constructed before 2000? You may need an asbestos survey, asbestos management plan and updated asbestos register to demonstrate legal compliance.

Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011

  • Do you keep copies of waste transfer notes, invoices and waste carrier’s certificate?

Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005

  • If you produce or hold more than 500kg of hazardous waste, have you registered the premises with the Environment Agency?

Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007

  • Does your business handle 50 tonnes of packaging material per annum and have a turnover more than £2million? You will need to register with the Environment Agency or join a compliance scheme.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013

  • If you manufacture, sell, resell, import or export electrical and electronic equipment, you may need register with the Environment Agency or join a producer compliance scheme.

Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001

  • The Oil Storage Regulations apply if your business stores oil, petrol or solvents in above ground tanks, containers or drums with a storage capacity over 200 litres. Is the bund for each storage tanks more than 110% of the largest container?

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007

  • Does your property have an air conditioning system over 12kW? If so, you need a TM44 air conditioning inspection every 5 years.

The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009

  • Do you have an environmental permit or store oil or chemicals? You may need to review your reporting procedures to provide for immediate remedial action and notification to the regulator.

Not many companies are fully compliant with UK and EU environmental and climate change laws. A practical way to improve environmental law compliance is to sign up to Newground’s Legislation Update Service. www.legislationupdateservice.co.uk

Keith Davidson writes monthly feature articles on environmental and health & safety legislation for Newground. ELM Law is a specialist environmental law firm. www.elmlaw.co.uk

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