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Implementation of EU obligations in relation to waste

The Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 enables regulations to be made for the prevention or regulation of environmental pollution and other related purposes.  This includes provisions that could have been made, or are similar to provisions that could be made, under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.  Accordingly, regulations under the 1999 Act are the principal vehicle for the implementation of EU law in relation to waste.

Subordinate legislation under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 includes:

  • The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.  Insofar as these relate to waste, they impose and regulate environmental permitting for activities such as landfill, incineration, mining and general waste operations.
  • The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.  These Regulations implement Directive 2008/98/EC, the 'Waste Framework Directive'.  They include requirements for: a national waste management plan, and waste prevention programs; improved waste management by mandatory separate collection of waste materials, and a requirement to follow the waste hierarchy (Article 4 of the Waste Framework Directive); certain requirements on planning authorities and marine licensing authorities in relation to landfill and mining waste operations and deposits of waste in the sea; requirements for registration of carriers, brokers and dealers in waste; and information to be provided on the transfer of waste.

Other provisions which implement EU obligations in relation to waste include:

  • The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009.  These regulations make provision for the management of waste batteries and accumulators. They provide for: producer obligations for portable batteries; battery compliance schemes; obligations of distributors of portable batteries; producer obligations for industrial and automotive batteries; approval of battery compliance schemes; disposal, treatment and recycling of batteries; powers and duties of the Secretary of State; and duties of certain responsible authorities (including National Resources Wales).
  • The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013. These regulations make provision for the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (excluding batteries and accumulators). They provide for: producer obligations; producer compliance schemes; distributor obligations and rights; and takeback of waste electrical and electronic equipment from private households.
  • Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007.  These regulations provide for notification and regulation of shipments of waste within and between Member States, and shipments of waste to and from countries outside the EU. Natural Resources Wales is a competent authority of destination and dispatch for the Welsh Area.
  • The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 and the Hazardous Waste (Wales) Regulations 2005.  These regulate the management of hazardous waste, including its classification and its transfer in Wales.

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