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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Burges Salmon LLP

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Water regulation: key developments in 2011

March 2011 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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This year will see significant reforms to the regulation of water in England and Wales with the publication of a Water White Paper, and a major reform of the economic water regulator Ofwat. The changes will affect not only water companies and their customers, but also have implications for wider utilities regulation and climate change adaptation. ‚Ä©

Hot topics for 2011: environment and energy key changes

March 2011 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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At the start of 2011, with environmental and energy issues high on the political agenda, this article highlights some of the key developments that can be expected by businesses and in-house lawyers in these fields this year. ‚Ä©

RESA 2008‚Ä©

Chemicals regulation update: live issues

December 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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A key milestone in the implementation of the REACH (Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances) Chemicals Regulation 1907/2006 (REACH) was the first registration deadline on 1 December 2010.

New school of renewable energy technologies

December 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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There has been much debate and discussion around the generation of renewable energy required for the UK to hit ambitious emissions targets. The coalition government’s manifesto included commitments to increase the UK’s target for energy from renewable sources and to support an increase in the EU emission reduction target to 30% by 2020. The incentives in place for operators of renewable energy plants, which are covered later in this article, have led to an influx of renewable energy companies looking to capitalise on the opportunities. Development of the incentives regimes and political pressure to plug the energy gap have led to an emerging group of renewable energy technologies. Three such technologies are anaerobic digestion (AD), geothermal technology and solar photovoltaic (solar PV). This article provides an insight into these three technologies, how they are being promoted, and what issues operators face when looking to build and operate renewable energy plants using them. 


New legislation on genetically modified produce

October 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The Debate over Genetically Modified organisms (GMOs) has been active for several years now. In 2005 the media regularly depicted protesters against GM trials. The debate may have largely subsided since then but it has risen again recently with news that scientists at Bristol and Liverpool universities have cracked the complete genetic code of wheat. GM hit the headlines again when an American newspaper quoted an unnamed British farmer, who claimed to be selling milk from a clone-derived animal. So what is the future of GMOs? ‚Ä©

On-site renewable energy generation: ten considerations

October 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The majority of electricity used by businesses in the UK is currently generated by large coal, gas and nuclear power stations, and is often supplied over long distances, via the transmission and distribution networks.

For various reasons, including energy security, price stability, transmission efficiency and carbon reduction, the government has been keen to incentivise the greater deployment of localised renewable electricity generation. This article examines the potential advantages for businesses in developing on-site renewable energy generation and highlights ten key issues that in-house lawyers will need to be aware of when assisting any such development project.

Coalition politics: blue + yellow = green?

July 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The result of the 2010 General election has brought about one of the most radical shifts in British politics for over half a century. For the first time since the Second World War, two political parties, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, have united to form a formal coalition government.

Waste batteries and accumulators, environmental regulation and supply chains: the big picture

June 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 (the 2009 Regulations) are the latest piece of legislation to come into force in the UK deriving from the European producer responsibility legislation. The staged implementation of the 2009 Regulations is now complete and the final obligations came into force on 1 February 2010.‚Ä©

What a nuisance! Key environmental cases from the past year

May 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The law of nuisance was first developed by the courts of England and Wales hundreds of years ago, long before the industrial revolution, at a time when England was predominantly a rural society. Throughout the intervening period there has been great change to our society and the law of nuisance has been adapted by the courts to respond to those changes. Leading text Clerk & Lindsell on Torts (18th edition) sums up the evolutionary nature of the common law of nuisance:

Access all areas: how safe is your commercially sensitive environmental information?

March 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Access to environmental information often creates conflict between the rights of citizens to understand the environment in which they live and the legitimate confidential interests of businesses that provide services to public bodies. The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 came into force over five years ago, but there are still frequent skirmishes in the courts over the scope of access to commercially sensitive documents, and the public (and non-governmental organisations in particular) are becoming increasingly creative in their efforts to obtain this information. Two recent examples are Veolia ES Nottinghamshire Ltd v Nottinghamshire County Council & ors [2009] and Office of Communications (Ofcom) v The Information Commissioner [2010], both of which have reshaped the contours of this area of law. Uncertainty exists in both the operation of the individual legislative routes to accessing information and in the interaction between them, which is of concern to the large number of commercial enterprises that do business with the public sector.

In this article, we look at the law on the access to environmental information and the implications of the recent judicial decisions, and we examine the risks and opportunities that this creates for businesses.

REACH and CLP: chemicals regulation issues for 2010

February 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances) Chemicals Regulation 1907/2006 (REACH) entered into force across the EU on 1 June 2007. UK enforcement of REACH is led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The main purpose of REACH is to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment. It places duties on manufacturers, importers and downstream users of substances, preparations or mixtures and articles, when they are placed on the market.

Tidying up: revisions to waste permitting exemptions

January 2010 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Since 2007, Defra, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Welsh Assembly Government have been reviewing the waste exemptions from environmental permitting, a system that has been in place and largely unchanged for 15 years. In broad terms, certain waste activities, such as burning waste as fuel or spreading sludge on agricultural land, were exempt from the need to obtain a waste management licence or, since 2007, an environmental permit. These exempt activities still needed to be registered with the EA, but were intended to reduce the burden on businesses carrying out low-risk waste activities while still affording the regulators the ability to retain a sufficient degree of control.

Time for water abstraction is drying up

November 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The water supply infrastructure used today was designed to cope with the climatic conditions and population levels of the UK in the 1960s, and is not adequate for current or future use. Climate change will affect the quantity of water we need through a change in rainfall distribution, demand for water and use of land. The Environment Agency (EA) also needs to implement the Water Framework Directive ‚Äôs (the Directive) key objective of achieving ‚Äėa good chemical and ecological status in all surface and ground water bodies by 2015‚Äô.

Consenting major energy projects under the Infrastructure Planning Commission

October 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The government is placing great faith in the new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) to facilitate the delivery of three national imperatives:

Offshore transmission issues: the new regime explained

July 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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If the UK is to meet its binding target under the Renewable Energy Directive of 15% of total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, as much as 30-40% of the UK’s electricity will need to be generated from renewable sources by that year. Offshore wind is expected to make a significant contribution to meeting these targets, with 33GW of capacity predicted by 2020. As the technologies develop in the coming years, marine and tidal projects are also expected to play an increasingly significant role.

Insolvency: the environmental perspective

June 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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With the UK suffering at the hands of the recession, rates of insolvency look set to continue to grow. In the first quarter of 2009, 4,941 companies were declared insolvent, representing a 7.1% increase on the previous quarter and an increase of 56.0% over the same period in 2008.

New litigation skills for environmental lawyers

June 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Michael Barlow and Georgie Messent discuss the reasons why litigation skills are becoming increasingly essential for environmental lawyers as a result of an expansion in contentious work

We believe that the traditional role of the environmental lawyer is changing. Now, with changes in legislation, regulatory practices and other external drivers, environmental lawyers will also need to have key litigation skills.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment

May 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is a new mandatory UK emissions trading scheme that will start in April 2010. Participants in the scheme will be large non-energy-intensive public and private sector organisations that have more than 6,000 MWh half-hourly metered (HHM) electricity usage in 2008 (an electricity bill of approximately £500,000 per year).

Responding to the downturn: mothballing or decommissioning manufacturing plants

March 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The second half of 2008 saw a number of manufacturers announce reductions in production capacity and, in some cases, plant closure in attempts to manage the unwanted effects of the economic downturn. Most manufacturing businesses are looking closely at their plants for cost savings. Sadly, some plants will not survive this scrutiny.

Reframing the framework of waste regulation?

January 2009 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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On 20 October 2008 the European Council in Brussels adopted a revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (doc 3646/08). The UK and other member states will have to implement the provisions of the revised WFD within two years of its entry into force. On this basis, the revised WFD will be transposed into UK law in or around December 2010.

Batteries Directive: EU powers up for war on improper disposal

November 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The EU Batteries and Accumulators Directive (2006/66/EC) (the Batteries Directive) came into force on 26 September 2008 and will have cost and compliance implications for those who manufacture, import, distribute, sell or recycle batteries. The Batteries Directive is intended to help reduce the high proportion of batteries that are ending up in landfills in the EU and continues the push towards producer responsibility for items that contribute to waste.‚Ä©

Latest developments in renewable energy

October 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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HIGH OIL AND GAS PRICES, A POTENTIALLY significant reduction in electricity generating assets and the developing carbon market mean that the UK and European renewable energy sector continues to develop apace. As energy bills for UK consumers and businesses rocket up, more organisations are considering on-site renewable generation as a way of reducing costs and profiting from renewable energy incentives. This, coupled with the need to reduce their carbon footprints and establish green credentials, make compelling business cases for wind farms, biomass plants and energy from waste facilities.

EU waste shipment legislation: one year on

September 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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IN AUGUST 2006 A SHIPMENT OF TOXIC WASTE FROM a Panamanian flagged ship, the Probo Koala, was unloaded in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. The Probo Koala was chartered by Trafigura Ltd, a subsidiary of the Dutch trading company Trafigura Beheer BV. After the waste was discharged, people living in the vicinity of the discharge sites began to suffer from a range of illnesses. Reports vary on the number of casualties but at least ten people have died and many thousands have needed treatment. In November 2006 a class action was filed at the High Court in London over the alleged dumping of toxic waste from the Probo Koala. The applicants alleged that the waste was hazardous, making the shipment illegal. Trafigura denies this allegation, claiming that the waste was standard waste from onboard ship operations. The company is further alleged to have shipped the untreated chemical waste to the Ivory Coast despite knowing that there were no facilities to treat the waste at its destination. Again, Trafigura denies the allegation, maintaining that it had entrusted the waste to an Ivorian disposal company. The trial is due to take place in 2009.

Increasing the uptake of anaerobic digestion: pitfalls and incentives

July 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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THE UK GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO MAKING anaerobic digestion (AD) a major player in its climate change, waste management and wider environmental objectives. The government wishes to see a much greater uptake of this technology by local authorities, businesses and farmers in a way that is both costeffective and beneficial to the environment through:

Preparations for the Mining Waste Directive

June 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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AS WE PASS THE DEADLINE OF 1 MAY 2008 FOR implementation of the EU Mining Waste Directive (MWD) (2006/21/EC), it is finally becoming clear how the government wants to tackle the thorny issue of how to deal with extractive waste in England and Wales. Three main options have been looked at, and the government’s preferred route is to transpose the MWD through the new Environmental Permitting Programme (EPP).

Climate change litigation: an update

May 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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IN THE MAY 2005 EDITION OF THIS MAGAZINE (see IHL130, p53), we considered the emerging concept of climate change litigation. The mood was one of cautious anticipation, as everyone was looking to the US to see how the first cases would be decided. Now, three years on, judgments have been handed down on some of those cases and a picture of climate change litigation in practice is now emerging. This article considers the latest developments in climate change litigation and considers whether such litigation could be brought in the courts of England and Wales.

When considering this subject, it is worth noting that in 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ‚Äď an independent body established by the World Metrological Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme ‚Äď concluded that:

Climate change: what was decided in Bali

May 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The 2007 Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which also served as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, was held in Bali, Indonesia from 3-14 December 2007. Two weeks of intensive negotiations resulted in an agreement, known as the ‚ÄėBali roadmap‚Äô, which signed up both developed and developing countries to a timetable for negotiations on a climate change treaty to apply beyond 2012. The roadmap sets the agenda for negotiations ending in 2009, and links into the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The changing landscape of environmental permitting

March 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The landscape of environmental permitting will significantly change on 6 April 2008 when the new Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (the EP Regulations) come into force in England and Wales. The purpose of the EP Regulations is to change the existing environmental permitting and compliance regime, which is perceived by many in the industry as too complex and inefficient.

The Radioactive Contaminated Land Regime and recent developments

February 2008 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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In 2006, the application of the contaminated land regime contained in Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) was significantly extended to the identification and remediation of land contaminated by radioactivity. On 10 December 2007, new regulations were introduced to further modify and extend the application of this new radioactive contaminated land regime to include land contamination arising from a nuclear occurrence from a nuclear-licensed site, which had previously been expressly excluded from the scope of the regime.

Won‚Äôt get fuelled again ‚Äď the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order

December 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The price of petrol is now over £1 at most garages across the UK. Sadly, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order (RTFO) will not curb these escalating prices, and may indeed bring further upward pressure to bear. Such is the cost of cleaner, greener supply.

Carbon Reduction Commitment: the devil in the detail

October 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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As recent reports from Sir Nicholas Stern and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have emphasised, climate change is the most serious long-term threat to our prosperity and way of life. It is likely to directly impact on the public and private sector through changing European and domestic legislation, greater public awareness and climate-related events such as flooding, landslips and severe storms.

Contaminated land liabilities: key decision for utility companies, developers and landowners

September 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The recent House of Lords decision in R (National Grid Gas Plc) v Environment Agency is of great significance to utility companies that might have contaminated land liabilities. The case is also potentially very disappointing for developers or other landowners that might have, or have had, land interests in sites that were formerly used and contaminated by statutory undertakers.

Climate change: the government's proposals to meet the energy challenge

August 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Following The 2006 Energy review and resulting report ‚ÄėThe Energy Challenge' (released 11 July 2006), the government published its Energy White Paper on 23 May 2007, setting out its long-term strategy for tackling climate change and ensuring secure, clean and affordable energy.

Statutory notices: an increasing nuisance for businesses

May 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The use of statutory notices is on the increase. Although there is usually a mechanism for issuing an appeal, there are strict time limits for doing so. If the right to appeal is lost, and the company fails to comply with notice, it may face criminal sanctions including a fine. This can have a significant effect on a business, for example, in terms of its ability to obtain permits in the future, its relationship with its shareholders and its ability to tender for projects.

High Court ruling places another question mark over PFI waste projects

April 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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A recent case involving waste recycling and treatment facilities could have significant implications for the future procurement of large-scale waste treatment and disposal plant and for lenders to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects. The case raises serious questions, albeit that such questions remain unresolved after this case, about the primacy of security arrangements where PFI assets become affixed to land owned by an authority.

International nuclear laws and proposed changes

March 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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On the face of it, the law relating to nuclear power looks like a highly specialist subject. However, the various international nuclear laws are not only relevant to those companies that own or manage nuclear installations. They also apply to anybody affected by nuclear activities, including those who suffer damage as a result of events that take place at nuclear facilities. Also, many companies that have previously not been involved in the nuclear market are now being attracted to it by the likely prospect of new nuclear facilities being built and the opening of the decommissioning market following the establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

This year‚Äôs hot topics ‚Äď environmental legislation in 2007

February 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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At the start of 2007, with environmental issues high on the political agenda, this article takes a brief look at some of the environmental legislation that businesses and in-house lawyers can expect to hear about during 2007.

Climate change and energy efficiency: the new agenda

January 2007 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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This article highlights some of the key points of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and goes on to summarise the EU's Energy Efficiency Action Plan. These documents will help set the political agenda and will prompt international, EU and national legislative and regulatory action over the next decade, much of which will inevitably affect companies and their operations.

Asbestos issues ‚Äď a timely overview

November 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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With draft regulations in the pipeline, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) asbestos campaign having just come to an end and the recent House of Lords ruling on asbestos-related diseases, now is a good time for in-house lawyers to refamiliarise themselves with asbestos issues. This article summarises the key issues and provides some practical guidance for practitioners.

Legal responsibility for flooding

October 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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After a summer of drought it may seem a strange time to consider issues arising from flooding. However, flooding and its effects on homes and agricultural land is becoming an increasingly important issue. Around five million people - in two million properties - live in flood-risk areas in England and Wales. Currently, flooding and flood management cost the UK around £2.2bn each year. The UK has seen some serious floods recently, such as those in Carlisle, Hexham and Boscastle. As well as harm to life and sometimes irreparable damage to homes, disruption is caused to infrastructure, operation of facilities, communications and logistics. As climate change takes place, this situation could become worse.

Current affairs: the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006

September 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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According to estimates from the Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (ICER), private householders in the UK will produce one million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment in 2006, with at least as much again being produced from non-household sources.

Contaminated land liabilities - utility companies beware and developers take note

August 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The High Court recently handed down its judgment in a significant contaminated land case, R (National Grid Gas Plc) v The Environment Agency (‚Äėthe Bawtry case').

A new framework for the seas: government consultation on the proposed Marine Bill

June 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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On 29 March 2006 the UK government opened a 12-week public consultation on its proposal to introduce a significant piece of legislation called the Marine Bill. The proposal follows a series of government reviews and reports on various marine management issues, and the comprehensive consultation document published by Defra (the consultation document) raises the likely possibility of new framework legislation that could fundamentally overhaul the way in which we manage the marine environment and our activities in it.

Environmental taxes and economic instruments

May 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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On 22 March 2006 Chancellor Gordon Brown announced the Budget to meet ‚Äėthe environmental challenge'. Rejecting representations to abolish the climate change levy, the Chancellor resolved to continue with the scheme and announced that the levy would be increased in line with inflation from 1 April 2007. The Budget Report 2006 was eager to demonstrate the success of the government's environmental policies, claiming that a key feature of its success had been the use of a variety of policy instruments to correct market failures and deliver behavioural change. The government envisaged a central role for economic instruments and environmental taxes, stating that fiscal instruments can be an effective way to implement the ‚Äėpolluter pays' principle.

End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive: new duties for car manufacturers

April 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Between eight and nine million tonnes of cars are disposed of as waste in the EU every year, of which 25% is typically classed as hazardous waste. The End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive aims to address this.

Environmental reporting: regulatory developments and implications for your business

March 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Companies are increasingly opting to report on their environmental and sustainability issues. One recent study by the UK Environment Agency concluded that approximately 90% of FTSE All Share companies now report on environmental issues in their Annual Report and Accounts.1

Radioactive contaminated land regime and increased liabilities for the nuclear industry

February 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The government has issued a consultation and draft Regulations, with draft statutory guidance, that will extend the existing contaminated land regime under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) to cover radioactivity. The extended regime will provide a system for identifying and remediating contaminated land where such land is causing lasting exposure of radiation to any person, or where there is a significant possibility of such exposure.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: how will the new requirements affect in-house lawyers?

January 2006 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The UK Government has adopted a number of different policies with a view to tackling the problem of climate change. These include various legal, fiscal and voluntary instruments, such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Energy white paper and the Sustainable Development Strategy. It has been recognised on both a national and European level that a reduction in the energy consumption of buildings will help to reduce carbon emissions.

'Mopping up': steps an in-house lawyer should take faced with environmental regulatory action

November 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The number of environmental prosecutions has increased in recent years, reflecting a growing trend by regulators to clamp down on environmental wrongdoing. Consequently, more in-house lawyers will be faced with the prospect of having to deal with the formal investigation of their company or a notice of intended prosecution relating to an environmental offence.

Statutory environmental torts - an underused but powerful resource

October 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Most lawyers will be aware of the common law routes for claiming damages that result from environmental harm (such as nuisance, negligence and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher). However, a number of statutory torts may also be used and, because they are forms of strict liability, may be a more powerful tool for claiming for such losses.

The new hazardous waste regime: does it apply to your business?

September 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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On 16 July 2005 new regulations came into force regarding the carriage and disposal of hazardous waste. A quick glance at the title of these Regulations - The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 - may lead you to assume they do not apply to your business, but you could be wrong. In fact, they are very wide ranging and will require action by many businesses. For instance, any office that throws away over 200kg of computer monitors or fluorescent tubes is covered.

Current affairs: the WEEE and RoHS Directives

July 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The UK produces an estimated 1 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) every year. Many of the components of electrical items contain dangerous chemicals, such as heavy metals, and the vast majority of this waste goes into landfill sites. It isn't surprising that the European Union has made reducing the amount of WEEE destined for holes in the ground a priority. It is now focusing on reducing the use of dangerous chemical components in these goods, recycling them and disposing of them safely.

EU REACH Chemicals Regulation

June 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The proposed new Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Regulation (the REACH Regulation) is one of the largest and most complex pieces of legislation ever attempted by the European Union. Negotiations in the Council of the EU and the European Parliament are now in a critical phase. The UK government aims to conclude political agreement on the Regulation during its EU presidency in November 2005, so the Regulation could take effect as early as 2006.

Climate change litigation

May 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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For the past few years environmental lawyers have been considering whether it is possible to bring a legal claim arising from the effects of climate change. Climate change litigation is considered to be the next big target for claimant lawyers after tobacco, asbestos and food. This article explores the claims which have been made to date, whether a claim is possible or likely in the UK and whether companies should now be taking steps to protect their position.

Environmental offences: personal prosecutions against company employees

April 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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Most environmental law is ultimately enforced against companies by criminal sanctions or the threat of criminal sanctions for its breach. In some circumstances the regulator (usually the Environment Agency (the EA), or, in Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) can also prosecute company officers and employees as well as the company concerned. This briefing sets out what those circumstances are and also provides a checklist of some of the steps that an in-house lawyer facing such a situation should consider.

Just a quiet pint? Noise and other environmental considerations for licensed premises

March 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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The Licensing Act 2003, which entered its first stage of implementation on 7 February 2005, is the single biggest shake-up of the licensing regime since the early 1960s. It replaces, in a blaze of controversy, the somewhat venerable Licensing Act 1964, an unwieldy and anachronistic piece of legislation, which was born, like the Gaming Act 1968, from the need to regulate the illegal drinking and gaming operations run by organised crime groups in London and beyond.

Decommissioning plant - environmental and health and safety law compliance

February 2005 - Environment. Legal Developments by Burges Salmon LLP.

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There are several reasons why businesses choose to decommission plant: the plant may be reaching the end of its economic production life; the business operating the plant may be relocating; or other financial reasons, such as fulfilling the redevelopment potential of a site, might be a factor.