The Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2016 (or EPR 2016) are on their way and members of the Surface Engineering Association (SEA) need to be ready.

Last year the Welsh Government and DEFRA decided that it was necessary to consolidate all of the amendments made to the legislation since its last publication in 2010.  It also included amendments and revisions made to related legislation during this time.  In August 2015, in accordance with legal obligations surrounding legislative amendments, the draft EPR 2016 was put out to consultation and was closed at the end of October 2015.

In December 2015, DEFRA published a summary of responses to the consultation, as well as the Government’s response.  It is DEFRA’s and the Welsh Government’s hope to lay the draft EPR 2016 before Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales during the second half of 2016, with the aim that they will come into force on 1st January 2017.

What areas does the EPR 2016 cover?

EPR 2016 only covers England and Wales, it does not extend to Northern Ireland and Scotland both of which have their own separate legislation.

What is EPR 2016?

The EPR 2016 applies to companies within the surface engineering industry if they carry out any waste treatment activity on site.  If this is the case, then they will be required to obtain a permit from either their Local Authority or the Environment Agency.

According to DEFRA, the definition of ‘treatment’ is “considered to be where waste ether has a process applied to it – other than simple storage processes like baling or compaction – or where waste from other sites is stored”.

This will affect those carrying out surface coating or finishing processes and apply to any waste operation, and either the direct or indirect release of substances into the air, water or land. There are a few exemptions to this requirement, and more information regarding these can be found on the UK.Gov website.

How can the SEA help?

We understand that deciphering legislation is time consuming and at times confusing.  That’s where we can help.  If you have any questions regarding EPR 2016 and how they will affect your business, please contact us and we will be only too happy to help.