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Environmental Protection Act.

Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 This is one of the single most important pieces of environmental legislation of recent times. It controls many aspects of how the environment is protected and regulated in daily lives.

The EPA 1990 (amended 1995) provides the main statutory framework in relation to waste. In particular the document:

  • defines waste

  • outlines the roles and functions of the waste collection authorities, the disposal authorities and the Environment Agency

  • establishes the criminal offences in relation to waste

  • sets down the waste management licensing system

  • establishes the statutory duty of care in relation to waste

Waste Offences

Section 33(1) makes it an offence to:

  • deposit controlled waste

  • knowingly permit controlled waste to be deposited in or on land

  • keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste
  • knowingly cause or permit controlled waste to be kept, treated or disposed of

Unless a waste management licence or appropriate permit has been issued which authorises the operation in question.

It is also an offence to keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. (This applies whether a waste management licence has been issued or not).

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