Consultation on Environment Agency Charges for 2015/16
Update 21/11/2014 - This consultation is now closed. You can see the ORG response HERE.
The EA are inviting you to comment on their charging proposals for 2015 in respect of their Environmental Permitting Regulation (EPR) and Abstraction charging schemes.
With the exception of EPR Waste Facilities and EPR Installations and some regional abstraction charges, which were increased in 2014/15, the Environment Agency has not increased its baseline charges since 2010/11. They continue to pursue efficiencies to avoid where possible increases in charges and again for the majority of the charges there will be no increase. However, three of the regimes (EPR Installations, EPR Waste Facilities, and EPR Radioactive Substances Regulation (non nuclear)) are currently not recovering the cost of providing the services. Therefore, despite the efficiencies, they need to increase their base charges by 2% to maintain the service and adhere to Treasury rules.
The EA have a mechanism within the EPR Charging Scheme to adjust charges for waste facilities and installations where their operator performance is poor (classified as Band D, E, or F). This enables them to recover the cost of additional regulatory assistance and avoids cross subsidy. They propose to amend the scheme to address those operators who persist in performing poorly for more than two years. This will introduce a higher charge multiplier for each of the above bands to enable them to fund additional enhanced regulatory effort.
They propose to change their approach to ensure that all newly permitted waste facilities and installations are operating well from the commencement of their permit and that these operators are very clear about the standards of operation they will need to maintain to ensure compliance. They propose to provide additional scrutiny in the first 12 months of operation, both to ensure that the management system is fit for purpose and also that it continues to be implemented properly during day to day operation of the site. This will be a once only additional charge (the "permit commencement charge”) set at 40% of the annual charge for that permit. This charge will be levied shortly after the permit is issued and will fund assistance for the new site and should enable the operator to attain good levels of performance on their site.
The consultation documents and its annexes are available to download online HERE
This consultation will run for 8 weeks from 25 September until 20 November 2014. The deadline for responses directly to the EA is 20th November.
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