The Environment Agency has today published its new charging scheme for regulatory permits and services, which will be effective from 1 April 2018.
The new charges have been introduced so that businesses and organisations cover the full cost of the services they receive rather than the public – this represents a more financially-sustainable model which is simpler, fairer and more effective and that will lead to long-term environmental improvements. Charges for permits and other regulatory services have remained static for the last 7 years.
The charges were drafted with feedback from industry and were subject to a public consultation. The consultation response document is also being published today, which includes the changes we have made as a result of comments we have received from customers, trades associations and the public.
The charges reflect the amount of regulatory effort needed at a site and will allow the Environment Agency to invest further in our permitting service. Businesses that are well-managed and low-hazard present a low environmental risk and will be charged less. Higher-risk or poor-performing businesses will be charged more.
Neil Davies, Environment Agency Director of Regulatory Charges, said:
Our work to regulate industry protects and enhances the environment. The changes that have been announced following the recent consultation will mean that businesses and not the public pay for the full services they use. This is more financially-sustainable, will lead to a better service to businesses and long-term improvements to the environment.
We have been engaging with trade associations over the last year while we were developing these proposals. Their input into this process has been really valuable and the feedback has helped shape the new fee structure.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
The Environment Agency carries out a valuable role in regulating the impact of businesses and industry on the environment and it is right that those that benefit from this service should cover the full cost.
The new charging structure will create a simpler, fairer and more sustainable system which will enable better regulation and protection for the environment.
The new charges will come into effect on the 1st April 2018 – the start of the new financial year.