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Paying the price for non-compliance

The Environment Agency (EA) need to raise money – make sure it isn’t yours !

The EA is following in the footsteps of the Health & Safety Executive and others by planning to bring in money from “persistently poor performers”. They have developed a number of initiatives to improve its funding stream, one of them involving changes to its operational risk appraisal (OPRA) scheme. The assessment provides a risk rating which is used to allocate its regulatory resources and determine how much a business will be charged for an activity. The idea is that the best performers, i.e. the ones who need the least attention, are charged a lower amount than those who require more of the inspector’s time. These changes, set to be introduced in April 2015, will see fees increased so that the standard permit fees for the very worst performers are multiplied by 500% for two years.

Make sure that you’re punctual about providing the EA with information in your environmental permit. Those who fail to do so will receive a lower compliance score which means increased fees!

The EA is also planning to explore other options to “cover the costs of interventions across a range of incident, compliance and enforcement situations”. Details of the charging structure haven’t been fully thrashed out but it is safe to assume that a failure to comply with environmental legislation will become increasingly expensive.

KS HeadShot no hatIf you would like to discuss how your business may be affected by these changes or would like help in conducting an environmental risk assessment, you can talk to our Health & Safety Management team on 01302 341 344.


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