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04 Feb 2010 03:02:11

Environmental laws extended to civil bodies

Environmental laws extended to civil bodies
Manufacturers will be given more leeway to change environmentally unfriendly practices, following the decision to give two of the main environmental bodies in the UK greater legal powers.

The Environment Agency and Natural England were this week given new civil powers to enable them to be more flexible in enforcing environmental law.

The two regulators will now be able to offer a greater range of options and penalties for organisations which unintentionally break environmental law.

Environment secretary Hilary Benn said: "These new powers will help make the system fairer for the law-abiding majority of businesses and will give regulators a practical and effective alternative to prosecution.

"The Environment Agency and Natural England, the first bodies to be given these powers, will have access to flexible and proportionate sanctions that will strengthen the protection of the environment and human health when tackling businesses who break the law."

Manufacturers have welcomed the legislation, which could see them paying back any profits gained from breaking environmental laws and being forced to put them into "environmental restoration and restitution for local communities".



Discussion Thread  

05 Feb 2010

You have to be very careful here. Suppose someone installed a solar or wind energy system which actually worked well, and effectively "made them money" - but "broke environmental legislation", then they would be penalised for actually helping to slow global warming. Meanwhile, someone else can erect some mindless and useless thing such as a "modern windfarm" which is "within regulations" yet actually has a Positive carbon footprint, but since it doesn't help them either, they will be paid the money from the helpful people's thing as "subsidy" (for their insane heap of industrial scrap with a label under it - "Clean energy source" - as in The Tate Gallery.
No serious certification agency appears to exist at present, and so what is the legislation going to be based upon ? i.e. what will get it by as legal.
a) If it Actually does reduce CO2, nett, over one life-cycle
b) If it looks right (to the majority ?) and/or it's "the latest".
Rarely, and very happily, the two are synonymous !

Discussion Thread  


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