As from the 1st of April 2018 the EA are to implement a new charging system. The announcement came after a consultation was concluded which began last November.
Previous changes for permits and other regulatory services have remained static for the previous seven years and the EA stated that one of the main reason for the changes was that ‘businesses and organisations cover the full cost of the services they receive rather than the public’.
The charges are intended to reflect the amount of regulatory effort needed at a site and will allow the Environmental Agency to invest in permitting services. The EA believes that those businesses that are well-managed and of low-hazard presenting a low environmental risk will be charged less. Whereas higher-risk or poor-performing businesses being charged more. For those companies where ‘extra or unusual’ regulatory work required by the EA staff will be charged a supplementary application charge on top of the application and annual substance charge; these will be charged at an hourly rate for technical or support work.
Within the consultation, concerns were raised on the proposed increases to charges with worries over some companies inability to pay the increases. Concerns were raised for ways to reduce them or not to introduce the raise in charges until 2019 to provide time for industries to adjust its budgeting. The Environment Agency pointed out that it had been required to introduce the new costs in April 2018 by the government. The Environment Agency also responded that charges were based on an assessment of the effort necessary to carry out regulatory actions and aimed to be in accordance with HM Treasury’s Managing Public Money rules to recover those costs. Furthermore, at an economic level, the charge changes will have no significant financial impact, stating that with all the industries they regulate, the charge changes represented less than 1% of total industry turnover with customers also benefiting from the improved regulation. The assessment concluded that the charging proposals would not have any significant impact on barriers to entry for any of the sectors covered under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. The consultation report also stated that between 2011/12 and 2017/18, the Environment Agency had seen only an increase of 1.5% of its income from charges whilst inflation had raised by 15% in the same period. Additionally, it had seen its grant for the environment and business reduced.
To find out how the revised consultation will affect you, please click on the following:
Environmental permitting charges guidance can be found here.
The Environmental Permit Charge Scheme can be found here.
The Consultation Outcome can be found here.
This section only applies to the waste treatment sector (activities in table 2.16 of the tables of charges).
The charges will apply to permits issued after 1 April 2018.
When you receive your permit, you must pay a one off extra charge of £672 for the first year of your operations which must be paid in full.
This charge covers the costs of an additional site visit from the Environment Agency to provide you with advice at the start of your operations. They do this to make sure your operation starts off on the correct basis as this is more cost effective than trying to put things right later.