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The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations amend the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (S.I. 2010/675) (“the Environmental Permitting Regulations”) by substituting a Schedule 23 to provide a modernised and transparent framework for the regulation of radioactive substances and to demonstrate clearer compliance with Council Directive 96/29/Euratom laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation (OJ No L 159, 29.6.1996, p 1).

The amendments also implement amendments which have been made, in respect of carbon capture and storage, to Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (OJ No L 24, 29.01.2008, p 8) and to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ No L 327, 22.12.2000, p 1), by Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (OJ No L 140, 5.6.2009, p 114.)

Regulations 4, 7, 8 and 13 amend the Environmental Permitting Regulations in consequence of the insertion of the new Schedule 23 by these Regulations.

Regulation 5 makes an amendment to extend the provisions in the Environmental Permitting Regulations relating to groundwater activities to allow a tracer test involving a radioactive substance to fall within the exemption.

Regulation 6 is a technical amendment to clarify the scope of an exception from the requirement to hold an environmental permit which applies to particular persons who dispose of radioactive waste.

Regulations 9 to 11 insert transitional arrangements into the Environmental Permitting Regulations which apply to existing users of radioactive substances (or substances which become radioactive substances by virtue of these Regulations) who are affected by the amendments made by these Regulations. Where a person requires an environmental permit for an activity because of the change to the definitions of radioactive material or waste, that person has until 1st April 2012 to apply for a permit or to comply with a new exemption (if applicable). A person who was exempt but is no longer exempt has until 1st April 2012 to apply for an environmental permit. Until 1st April 2012, a person who, as a consequence of these Regulations, no longer requires a permit in part or whole may, by use of the procedure under regulation 24 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations, surrender that permit or part thereof by notification to the regulator.

Regulation 12 inserts a new regulated activity into Schedule 1 (activities, installations and mobile plant) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations relating to the capture of carbon dioxide.

Regulation 14 inserts into Schedule 22 (groundwater activities) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations a new activity for which the regulator is able to grant a permit, in relation to the geological injection of carbon dioxide.

Regulation 15 replaces Schedule 23 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations with a consolidated version which includes additions and amendments. In particular, the definitions of radioactive material and radioactive waste are amended. Part 7 is inserted into Schedule 23 to provide conditional exemptions from the requirement to hold an environmental permit in respect of certain radioactive substances. Part 8 is inserted to re-enact section 40 of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.

Three documents are referred to in the tables in the substituted Schedule 23. The document referred to in Table 2 in Part 3 of that Schedule (Radiation Protection 122: Practical use of the concepts of clearance and exemption, Part 1) is available on the European Commission’s website (www.ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/radiation_protection/doc/publication/122_part1.pdf). The document referred to in Table 5 of Part 7 of that Schedule (Exempt Concentrations and Quantities for Radionuclides not Included in the European Basic Safety Standards Directive) is available to order from the Health Protection Agency (www.hpa.org.uk). The document referred to in Table 7 in Part 7 of that Schedule (Derivation of Liquid Exclusion or Exemption Levels to Support the RSA93 Exemption Order Review) is available on the website of the Health Protection Agency (www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1281952965539).

Regulation 16 makes consequential amendments to other legislation as a consequence of the amendments made to the Environmental Permitting Regulations and the repeal of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.

Regulations 17 to 19 repeal the majority of the remainder of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 in England and Wales, and the single exemption order that was not made or deemed to be made under that Act, as well as making savings for the purposes of the transitional arrangements.

The effect of these Regulations is that the Environmental Permitting Regulations regulate, and include exemptions from regulation of, activities in respect of radioactive substances and replace the system which previously existed under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.

A transposition note and a full regulatory impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs of business and the voluntary sector is available and is annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum which is available alongside the instrument on www.legislation.gov.uk.

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