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AN ANALYSIS OF THE CONSULTATION ON AN ENVIRONMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND GOVERNANCE BILL: PART I

Perhaps unnoticed, as people head to the beach in August, Defra’s consultation on ‘Environmental Principles and Governance after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, which closed on 2 August 2018, is probably the most important consultation affecting environmental laws to be introduced for at least the last ten years. It goes right to the heart of how environmental laws will, or should, or may not be, enforced, after the UK leaves the EU.

It proposes a new Bill, to set up a new body with the essential task of holding government and public bodies to account for environmental law enforcement, in place of enforcement of EU law by the European Commission and Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Bill will also address how the key environmental principles which underpin EU environmental laws should be reflected in UK laws after Brexit. The new Bill will only apply to England, as responsibility for the environment is a devolved matter, but similar issues will arise for each devolved administration. Debates continue over the workability of having four separate enforcement bodies, or a single body for the UK applying consistent standards but (and this is now a pressing need) taking real and full account of the concerns in each of the UK’s constituent parts.

In this article, the author argues that given the current failures of enforcement under existing legal structures, there now needs to be a legal duty upon all levels of government“ to secure the effective enforcement of environmental laws” for which they are responsible. He also argues that government and public bodies must, as a minimum, have regard to environmental principles when discharging their functions, and must commit not to dilute the existing application of those environmental principles where already reflected in EU law; and that it is time to introduce the principle of environmental justice to UK law.

Issues of non enforcement of existing EU environmental laws

The consultation does not address the really serious issue of non-enforcement of existing EU laws under existing structures. Examples of this are as follows.

Volkswagen and ‘defeat devices’

Volkswagen placed 590,000 vehicles containing defeat devices to mislead emissions tests on the US market. After investigations by Congress, State Attorneys General, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the State of California, Volkswagen in 2017 agreed to plead guilty and to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties, ($2.8 billion criminal and $1.5 billion civil penalties). Six executives and employees were named and indicted.

Volkswagen placed 1.2 million cars fitted with similar devices on the UK market. Initially, the then Transport Secretary wrote to the European Commission saying that he hoped they would “investigate this matter thoroughly and take appropriate action to avoid a recurrence”. On 8 December 2016, the European Commission opened infringement proceedings against 7 states, including the UK and Germany “for failing to set up penalties systems to deter car manufacturers from violating car emissions legislation, or not applying such sanctions where a breach of law has occurred.” Since that time, it does not appear that any UK enforcement authority has taken any enforcement action of any description against Volkswagen for this matter.

Air quality and the ClientEarth cases

The UK’s non- compliance with EU air quality legislation, and the ClientEarth series of cases in different jurisdictions to try to enforce it, are a matter of record. Successive UK governments must know quite well what EU laws require on air quality; but ClientEarth has been obliged to go back and back to court to obtain one ruling after another that the UK government is in breach.

Illegal waste sites

It is becoming clear that in parts of the UK there may be hundreds of illegal waste sites that are not yet being tackled by the environmental regulators, who are somewhat given to complaining that they simply lack the resources to do more to enforce existing laws in the area. This gives rise to two questions. First, is there the will to enforce existing law? Secondly, if the issue is really about resources, what can and should be done, for example, to share more of the proceeds of crime recovered in waste cases with the regulatory agencies, instead of with the Treasury?

Enforcement of river pollution incidents

The current referral to the European Commission by Afonydd Cymru of the inactions by the NRW in enforcing existing river and nitrate legislation underlines both the availability at present of a European remedy to breaches of EU environmental law, and the importance of oversight of environmental regulators as a practical issue for environmental law enforcement.

Failure to enforce existing environmental laws, at a time when the UK is, on Brexit, removing many of the most effective powers and means for their enforcement, risks sending a signal that pollution pays, that compliance with environmental laws is for the little people, not large companies, and that regardless of public concern, there isn’t the political will to make enforcement effective. Again, if environmental laws are not going to be effectively enforced, it doesn’t greatly matter what they say.

What is needed to make enforcement of environmental laws effective is –

(i)        clearly drafted laws;

(ii)       a strong political message, from the top, that environmental laws are there to do an important job, and will be enforced, against individuals, and companies of all sizes;

(iii)      a proper statement of enforcement policy by regulators;

(iv)      properly resourced, adequately informed and skilled, independent and robust regulators; and

(v)        a legal duty on all levels of government “to secure the effective enforcement of environmental laws” – something which the new environmental regulator can focus on, and support.

The follow-up to this article will address losses the UK may suffer in terms of environmental law enforcement once it leaves the EU, as well as the likely aims of bodies set up under the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill and environmental justice concepts  in operation in  the USA.

About the Author

William Wilson is a specialist environmental, regulatory and nuclear lawyer with over 25 years experience in government, private practice and consultancy. He worked as a senior lawyer at the UK Department of the Environment/DETR/Defra, and helped to build up the environmental and nuclear practices at another major law firm, as well as running his own environmental policy consultancies. William has experience of all aspects of environmental law, including water, waste, air quality and industrial emissions, REACH and chemicals regulation, environmental protection, environmental permitting, litigation, legislative drafting, managing primary legislation, negotiating EU Directives and drafting secondary legislation.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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SECTOR DEAL BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY—KEY MESSAGES

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Energy on 18 July 2018. Click for a free trial of Lexis®PSL.                                                                                                                                                                                            Energy analysis: Rupert Cowen, senior commercial and nuclear energy lawyer at Prospect Law, highlights some of the key messages of the sector deal between the UK government and the nuclear industry

Original news

£200m nuclear deal to secure UK energy mix, LNB News 28/06/2018 94

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a £200m deal with the nuclear sector to secure the UK’s diverse energy mix and drive down nuclear energy costs. The deal includes £32m to kick-start a new advanced manufacturing programme to develop potential world-leading nuclear technologies like advanced modular reactors, and a commitment to increasing gender diversity in the civil nuclear workforce, with a target of 40% women in the sector by 2030.

What are the key messages and conclusions of the sector deal? Is there anything unexpected or new?

 To those of us old enough to remember the 1970’s, when the government of the day offered support to ‘the white-hot heat of technology’, the new industrial strategy is back to the future with its ‘grand challenges’ to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

Although the strategy promises government support in many sectors, it is a moot point whether nuclear can be said to be an industry of the future. Although, it is clear that some in this government believe that if the price of constructing generating capacity can be reduced, it does have a future in the UK.

As a mark of the confusion which reigns within the government authorities seeking to assist industry, even before the ink is dry on the nuclear sector deal, the National Infrastructure Council’s National Infrastructure Assessment cautions against a rush to agree government support for multiple new nuclear power stations, and proposes that after Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the government should agree support for only one more nuclear plant before 2025. This following on from the government’s refusal to support the Severn barrage.

Among the hyperbole of the nuclear sector deal, is the promise to ‘transform our future’. The deal does at least make good on the promise of financial support with confirmation of £56m for R&D in advanced modular reactors (AMRs), £85m to replace the funding Culham lost because of the withdrawal from Euratom; and other promises include £40m toward a facility to develop advanced nuclear technologies together with support for an advanced manufacturing program and a national supply chain programme.

The stand out point is that, although there will be government support for AMRs, that support does not extend to the small modular reactors (SMRs). Despite its disappointment, Rolls Royce—who would have been the main beneficiary of government support for SMRs—said that it continued to believe that ‘UK SMR can be a significant contributor to providing low cost, low carbon electricity’.

Nuclear energy supporters see AMR’s as a lower cost alternative to traditional reactors which are struggling to compete with the rapidly falling cost of renewables.

The other stand out points were:

  • acknowledgement of the need for direct government advanced financial support to reduce the cost of construction of the existing planned nuclear development in the UK
  • the new facility to develop advanced nuclear technologies is possibly going to be located at Trawsfynydd with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)

In return, those members of the industry who canvassed the Nuclear Industry Council have made a commitment to:

  • reduce the cost of new nuclear build projects by 30% over the next 12 years
  • reduce the cost of decommissioning old nuclear sites by 20%—reference is made to the current debate on the proper end state for legacy nuclear sites and the BEIS consultation on funding decommissioning

To the more cynical reader, the relationship between end state and cost reduction will not be lost.

This announcement comes only days after EDF announced that the cost of constructing Hinkley Point C had increased by a further £1.5bn to over £20bn.

Are there any remaining unanswered questions?

The government has indicated in a vague and unsubstantiated way that in the case of Wylfa Newydd, it might consider attaching taxpayer funds to the construction of the site, but with the ambition of achieving a strike price for the electricity that will be about £15/MWh cheaper than for Hinkley. Such a strike price would be about £77.50/MWh. This price is still higher than the £57.50/MWh allocated for UK offshore wind contracts in September 2017.

Are there any other important points worth mentioning?

The sector deal does not help with the biggest own goal for the nuclear industry in the UK and ensuring it is not affected by Britain leaving the European Union, and to aim for continuity with Euratom arrangements to enable the nuclear industry to continue operating after 29 March 2019.

About the Author

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

Rupert Cowen has worked in various countries on nuclear projects and has drafted for and provided ongoing guidance to those creating or revising national legal regulatory frameworks. He is recognised as a leading expert in international nuclear law and regulation; he lectures on a frequent basis around the world and has published papers on various aspects of nuclear regulation, particularly nuclear waste strategies.

Prices quoted are indicative and may be based on approximate or readjusted prices, indices or mean levels discussed in the market. No warranty is given to the accuracy of any view, statement or price information made here which readers must verify.

For more information or assistance with a particular query, please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

Prospect Law Ltd, July 2018

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PROSPECT LAW SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS PLANNING PERMISSION FOR DERBY WASTE INCINERATOR

R (HILL) v. DERBY CITY COUNCIL [2018] EWHC 768 (ADMIN.)

In R (Hill) v Derby City Council, Mr Justice Supperstone considered a claim by a local resident that sought to quash the decision of Derby City Council to grant planning permission for an incinerator to Envirofusion Ltd (represented by Prospect Law).

Background:

Envirofusion is based on the former Hanson Concrete Works, off Alfreton Road, and applied to Derby City Council for permission to test its waste disposal system, which involves heating waste to a temperature of 1,000°C for 18 months.

The plant would process up to 2.75 tonnes of waste per hour, based on a maximum operational running time of up to 100 hours a week. Gases from the process would escape into the outside air up a 22-metre stack, after passing through a filtration system. The waste would then be oxidised to produce molten ash.

The proposals were controversial and attracted more than 450 letters of objection.

Ground of Challenge and Judgment:

Mrs Hill challenged the decision on three grounds:

  • the planning committee report was not made available online,
  • the planning committee report was misleading,
  • the Council did not have regard to material considerations.

Dr Ashley Bowes represented Envirofusion at the High Court hearing. Mr Justice Supperstone accepted his submissions and refused Mrs Hill permission to challenge the Council’s decision. In particular, it was held that:

  • There is no duty to publish a planning committee report online. The obligation within the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 only applies to decisions of a Council’s executive (see paragraph 4 of the judgment).
  • Health and safety matters, such as the risk of fire and explosion, were considered in the grant of the environmental permit. Accordingly, the Committee was entitled to leave those matters for the regulation of the permit (see paragraphs 14 & 15 of the judgment). This issue arises from time-to-time when planning committees determine new or experimental technologies such as fracking.

It is worth remembering the observations of Mr Justice Gilbart in R (Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association) v West Sussex County Council [2014] EWHC 4108 (Admin.) at [100] that “the Planning Authority may in the exercise of its discretion consider that matters of regulatory control could be left to the statutory regulatory authorities to consider”

Entitlement to Costs:

Mrs Hill disputed that Envirofusion were entitled to its costs. Notwithstanding the common practice of the High Court to award the costs of preparing and filing its acknowledgment of service, Mrs Hill argued that Bolton MDC v Secretary of State for the Environment [1995] 1 WLR 1176 is authority for the proposition that only one set of costs would normally be ordered and that further costs would only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Mr Justice Supperstone rejected that submission, holding in a further judgment that the Bolton rule does not apply to costs incurred preparing an acknowledgment of service. The Judge rejected the submission that the judgment of the House of Lords costs officers in Berkley v Secretary of State for the Environment (21 January 2003), in which it was held that two sets of costs could not be recovered by respondents to applications for permission to appeal, compelled a different conclusion. Mr Justice Supperstone found that an appeal to the House of Lords concerned “a different regime under different circumstances”.

Please click here to see Mr Justice Supperstone’s order on costs

About the Author:

Ashley Bowes is a specialist planning barrister who frequently represents clients in planning inquiries and onto litigation in the courts, including up to the Supreme Court. He is a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, in which capacity he represents the UK Government in planning matters.  He is also the General Editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s Journal of Planning & Environment Law and the Author of Oxford University Press’ ‘A Practical Approach to Planning Law’ (14th. Ed.).

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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BIGGER BILLS WILL DRIVE BATTERY INVESTMENTS BEHIND THE METER

Rising non-commodity costs and resilience concerns make batteries more attractive for big users.

Increased Charges

Energy is pure expenditure. There is no investment or “hidden benefit” to be had, and even for companies that can damp down usage, there are bill increases to come. Prometheus Energy, a demand side response and reserve battery provider, reported in 2017 that more than one UK business in 20 incurred financial losses due to at least one brown or black-out last year.

The wholesale market aside, business prices will rise because of increases in network capacity charges and higher levies. As of this April there are seven separate taxes, on top of commodity and capacity costs. My research suggests that capacity and tax rises will have increased a typical commercial user’s bill by 35% between October 2017 and September 2020, even with no increase in wholesale prices.

Even if wholesale prices stay fixed for three years, many bills will rise 32% because of network capacity and government surcharges. By 2020, the commodity cost will make up just a quarter of the bill.

Seeking a favourable energy quote will still help. However, competitive tendering alone will not protect businesses from the changes ahead. However, there are measures users can take, some quite easy, to reduce these charges or avoid them altogether.

Mitigating Increased Charges                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Top of the list is responding to Triad warnings. High usage during a Triad period (declared by National Grid months after the event) can increase transmission charges substantially, with the user effectively “recategorised” and positioned in a higher pricing charging band that may apply to all future consumption.

Second is responding to distribution charges, which are influenced by consumption in Red Zone periods. Unlike Triads, Red Zones occur at known times. These have generally been weekdays from     4pm to 7pm, but it varies between networks and by location, and the timing of those zones may change.

Over-the-Counter Trade Registration

Larger consumers may consider a managed OTR service (over-the-counter trade registration). This offers a combined trade sleeve and clearing service, and can streamline trading through one channel.

It can also cut energy costs, firstly because it gives a company direct access to the OTC (over-the-counter) market, which removes various visible commissions, transaction costs and hidden commissions, premiums and bid-offer spreads. Secondly, it means access to the entire wholesale market, because an OTR vehicle can simultaneously access every player in the power market, access all bid-offer pairs that have been posted and thus buy or sell at the most favourable price available.

Finally, a managed OTR service can spare the expense of signing up to the Balancing and Settlements Code (BSC) or other legal-intensive agreements, with every BSC-accredited player that the client wishes to trade with. The managed OTR service can be a low-cost way to start trading on the wholesale market directly, and can mitigate many operational costs and risks associated with trading with Elexon (National Grid) as principal and also with GTMA players directly.

Battery Hosting

With those bases covered, energy buyers will be looking at a combination of competitive tendering and more active demand-side management, including the possible application of demand-side response (DSR) hardware and DSR-related battery storage. It may be cost-effective to install on-site generation and a battery in unison. As with energy service contracts, battery hosting contracts are likely to become more familiar. Hosting a battery would mean a battery service specialist will supply, operate and maintain the battery system in exchange for a share of the annual saving from the “host” company.

A battery has side benefits as well. It offers some emergency power, automatic brown-out protection and limited blackout protection. It will also automatically improve power quality – valuable for businesses that can be disrupted by voltage surges, harmonic distortions and other network issues. Broader benefits and lower energy bills are likely to combine to ensure battery installation remains the flavour of the month for many months to come.

About the Author

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory. 

Prices quoted are indicative and may be based on approximate or readjusted prices, indices or mean levels discussed in the market. No warranty is given to the accuracy of any view, statement or price information made here which readers must verify.

 Dominic Whittome is an economist with 25 years of commercial experience in oil & gas exploration, power generation, business development and supply & trading. Dominic has served as an analyst, contract negotiator and Head of Trading with four energy majors (Statoil, Mobil, ENI and EDF). As a consultant, Dominic has also advised government clients (including the UK Treasury, Met Office and Consumer Focus) and private entities on a range of energy origination, strategy and trading issues. 

For more information or assistance with a particular query, please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE REJECTS AUSTRIA’S CHALLENGE TO HINKLEY POINT C

The Austrian Government’s challenge to the EC’s approval of state aid to support the development of the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in the UK was last week rejected by the ECJ.

Austria and Nuclear Energy

Despite being home to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an international organisation which “seeks to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies“, Austria has a strong anti-nuclear policy that stems from the country’s venture into nuclear energy in the 1970’s. A 700 MW(e) NPP was constructed at Zwentdorf and completed in 1978, but never commissioned. Despite the then government being in favour of nuclear power, there were many large anti-nuclear demonstrations which led to a 20-year ban on nuclear energy in the country; in 1997 this ban was extended indefinitely.

Not only does Austria’s anti-nuclear policy apply to its own generation of electricity, but also to electricity bought from other countries – in 2015 it passed a law banning the importation of nuclear generated electricity (insofar as it is possible to differentiate between the two when drawing from the grid in real time).

Neighbouring Countries:

Austria also has a history of trying to stop the development of nuclear power in neighbouring countries, having previously raised objections to the Temelin NPP in the Czech Republic and Mochovce NPP in Slovakia. In February 2018, Austria launched a lawsuit against the European Commission (EC) for its approval of Hungarian state subsidies for the construction of two reactors at the Paks nuclear site in Hungary – the outcome of this is awaited.

Austria’s concern about Temelin caused IAEA Director General, Mohammed ElBaradei to comment in 2007:

six out of seven of Austria’s neighbour countries have nuclear power plants. I would advise the Austrians not to concentrate on the fact that power plants exist, but rather on their safety”, and;

ultimately, it makes no difference whether the nuclear power plants are in Austria or on its borders. We at the IAEA ensure that the best possible safety standards are applied. I want to guarantee to all Austrians that the reactors surrounding Austria have nothing to do with Chernobyl. Of course, there can never be a 100% guarantee. It is just like flying: very safe, but with a residual risk. But I am not in the least concerned about Temelin. I can say that with a clear conscience, since I too live here in Austria”.

Hinkley Point C:

But Austria takes an anti-nuclear stance beyond its neighbours. In October 2014 it brought a case against the EC for its approval of the UK government’s state aid for Hinkley Point C, which the Commission argued was compatible with the internal market and that the construction of the plant was in the British public’s interest.

Hinkley Point C comprises two 1600 MW(e) EPR reactors and is being constructed by EDF Energy’s subsidiary NNB Generation next to the shutdown Hinkley Point A and operating Hinkley Point B stations in Somerset.

Austria sought to challenge the EC’s decision through the filing of a lawsuit with the European Court in July 2015, supported by Luxembourg. On the other side, the UK, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia supported the EC’s case. The challenge drew the wrath of Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, who said in a statement issued at the time:

It is one thing to have an opinion, it is quite another to try and force your opinion on someone else. The UK public, indeed people in all countries, have the right to choose nuclear to meet their energy needs and to help address climate concerns if they so wish. It is a pity that the Austrian government has decided not to respect that right”.

Ruling against Austria:

In its ruling of 12 July, the European Union’s General Court stated:

the Commission did not err in taking the view that the UK was entitled to define the development of nuclear energy as being a public-interest objective, even though that objective is not shared by all of the Member States“.

 It added that “the objective of promoting nuclear power, and, more specifically, of promoting the creation of new nuclear energy production capacities, is related to the Euratom Community’s goal of facilitating investment in the nuclear field“. It also said that each Member State has the right to choose from among the different energy sources those which it prefers.

The court also said that Austria had failed to invalidate the EC’s findings that it was “unrealistic” to expect a comparable amount of wind generating capacity could be built over the same timeframe as constructing Hinkley Point C “given the intermittent nature of that source of renewable energy“.

Austria can appeal to the European Court of Justice within the next two months.

Although Austria does not have an operating commercial NPP, it does have TRIGA research reactor at the Atominstitut (ATI) in Vienna. It is therefore by definition a generator of radioactive waste, and under the requirements of the EU’s radioactive waste Directive should have a long-term policy for dealing with it. It is a signatory to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, and a signatory to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

Conclusion

So Austria does take its nuclear responsibilities seriously and has declared its international commitment to improving nuclear safety, for example as reflected in its latest report to the Convention on Nuclear Safety saying that it “attaches utmost importance to international efforts to harmonise and steadily increase nuclear safety”.

Regarding its relationship with the IAEA however, the Austrian government saysAustria’s interests regarding the IAEA are primarily nuclear safety and radiation protection as well as safeguards against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Austria ascribes considerable importance to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, and expressly supports the Agency’s integrated monitoring system”.

At first sight, Austria appears to be a thorn in the side of the nuclear industry, bringing challenge after challenge to nuclear developments throughout Europe. However, each of these challenges has been dealt with robustly and summarily dismissed. Should Austria stop its opposition to nuclear?  Perhaps ironically for Austria its challenges to date have had positive outcomes for the industry, but one could argue that its stance has the benefit of allowing arguments for and against to be discussed.

About the Author:

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector.

The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts. This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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WHOLESALE ENERGY PRICES: MAY – JUNE 2018

In this article, Dominic Whittome covers recent changes to wholesale energy prices.

Oil

Despite reports of US influence, and of OPEC agreeing a relaxation in quota to offset supply problems from Venezuela and sanctions on Iran, crude prices extended their gains to end the period 11% higher.

This output increase is essentially a token gesture anyway, given that most OPEC and non-OPEC countries are already producing at or close to capacity whilst the global supply cushion stands below 4%, the lowest it’s been for 30 years. Consequently, Vienna’s meeting of minsters has done little to reverse the price trend. However, the recent levels also raise questions about the authenticity of the ‘shale oil’ argument.

It was barely two years ago when investment banks were issuing research papers declaring ‘$30 – $40 /bbl – the new norm’ amid expectations of fracked oil and gas keeping the world over supplied. As things turned out, oil prices doubled and many forecasts were promptly re-written. Perhaps a reasonable question to ask is that if there is (or ever was) close to this amount of surplus shale, then why are prices this high now, despite the actions or inactions of OPEC producers?

Prices might soften over the coming months but they are very unlikely indeed to return to anywhere close to the levels discussed in the market barely two years ago. Meanwhile, rising world inflation, which will add to transport, production costs and enhanced recovery budgets, could also drive oil prices higher, whilst the talk of US fiscal tightening and the strong petro-dollar have taken some of the sting out of oil price rises in nominal/dollar terms. Any relapse though, or renewed money printing that sees the dollar fall, could repeat the surge in oil prices last seen in the aftermath of the First Financial Crisis, which witnessed a flight into safe assets, hard commodities, including oil, that then dragged the market above $80/bl when demand was actually weaker than now. The forward outlook therefore appears stable and the current ‘high prices’ environment may be with us for a while.

Gas

Forward gas prices climbed a further 15% amid an unreasonably strong prompt market, with even spot prices trading over 50 p /th and sharply rising petroleum product prices. Oil prices themselves last fell below $40/bbl in April 2016, although their main assent (from $ 45 to $ 75) took place within the past 15 months. This timing may be significant and it may partly explain why wholesale gas prices are rising as fast as they are now.  The ‘low’ gas prices in 2016/17 are due to fall completely out of most long-term contract price escalation formulae soon, if not already. There will therefore be a contractual readjustment for gas via key take-or-pay Russian, Norwegian and LNG gas contracts, most of which account for marginal supply and will dictate forward prices as we move into the next buying round or into the next Gas Year on 1st October.

The OTC market has also seen carbon prices soaring. Today the EUA is trading above € 15/ tonne CO2 versus € 5/tonne CO2 exactly a year ago. While a sharply higher carbon price might be expected to depress gas demand, its overall (and certainly more immediate) effect will be to increase the principal feedstock price for gas generators. Events in the EU ETS will therefore be doing nothing to support any renaissance in new-build gas-fired generators, which may well be needed before long as the national generation margin shrinks further.

Electricity

Forward power prices surged 13% over the period. However, with the medium-term outlook for gas and most other indigenous power generation looking fairly soft, the grid will be relying increasingly on new interconnector imports from the Continent, Norway and potentially Iceland further down the line.

As previous articles have commented, this energy strategy may be unsound, not so much for ‘import/export’ reasons per se but basic reliability. Leaving to one side the question of plant reliability and ability or willingness of European suppliers to offer peak power when needed, the reliability of sub-sea cables needs to be considered as such systems are themselves prone to outages, even the newest cables with the latest electrical technology.

However, with the Hinkley Point power station (which when ready will barely supply 5% of the market) unlikely to produce at capacity before 2025, and other nuclear plants also delayed and unlikely to come online until ca. 2030, the short-term and medium-term generation outlooks are tight. However, rather than higher wholesale prices, the impact will be expressed in sharp rises in premiums and the cost of shape in end-users’ commodity prices, i.e. on top of capacity price increases and increasing eco levies and taxes (now seven in total).

The recent changes discussed above suggest that, if anything, the average businesses will now see power bills rising by 40 – 45% (the top end of the range estimate) within just three years. This prospect should spur end-users to look at energy reduction, demand-side management, on-site generation and profile-correcting batteries.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts. 

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

Prices quoted are indicative and may be based on approximate or readjusted prices, indices or mean levels discussed in the market. No warranty is given to the accuracy of any view, statement or price information made here which readers must verify.

Dominic Whittome is an economist with 25 years of commercial experience in oil & gas exploration, power generation, business development and supply & trading. Dominic has served as an analyst, contract negotiator and Head of Trading with four energy majors (Statoil, Mobil, ENI and EDF). As a consultant, Dominic has also advised government clients (including the UK Treasury, Met Office and Consumer Focus) and private entities on a range of energy origination, strategy and trading issues. 

For more information or assistance with a particular query, please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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UK GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES DRAFT NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS REGULATIONS

On 9 July 2018 the UK government published a consultation on draft Nuclear Safeguards Regulations (see link). The draft Regulations are the next essential piece in the framework being introduced in the UK following the decision to leave the Euratom Treaty in parallel to the decision announced to leave the European Union. These are important Regulations with wide implications for all nuclear operators and those in the nuclear supply chain.

The consultation runs to 14 September 2018 and covers all parts of the UK. Consultation workshops will take place in London on 2 August 2018 and in Manchester on 15 August 2018, and others may be announced later.

Following the triggering of Article 50, Treaty for European Union, the UK government concluded that leaving the European Union had the consequence of the UK being required to leave the Euratom Treaty, and it gave notice of that intention at the same time [see earlier Prospect Law briefings in June 2017 and March 2018, parts 1-3].

In order to avoid any actual or potential gaps in the coverage of nuclear safeguards, and to ensure its continued firm commitment to both the international system of nuclear non-proliferation and uninterrupted support for civil nuclear developments, the UK government has had to go to considerable lengths.

On 26 June 2018 the Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018 received Royal Assent, introducing a new and enhanced framework for the Office for Nuclear Regulation ‘ONR’ to apply safeguards outside of Euratom. The Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018 will amend relevant provisions of the Energy Act 2013.   Publication of the draft Nuclear Safeguards Regulations on 9 July 2018 is the next step in addressing the detailed regulatory requirements of this process.

The Regulations will aim to deliver an equivalent regime to that applying under Euratom from Day One of the UK’s exit from the European Union and Euratom, by whatever route that now takes. As expected, most of the new day to day responsibilities will fall on the ONR.

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ‘BEIS’ has also set up a working group with those with like responsibilities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and this has been considering related issues such as the shipment and treatment of radioactive waste.

In addition, the UK has prioritised development of bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreements with four jurisdictions with their own particular legislation controlling nuclear trade and cooperation, namely Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA, and a UK-USA Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was signed on 4 May 2018.

The Regulations will contain important definitions such as those of “fissionable material” and “relevant international agreement”. It is intended that on Brexit, key Euratom regulations will become “retained EU law” under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, and then be repealed when the draft Nuclear Safeguards Regulations come into force.

If the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, on which political agreement was reached in March 2018, takes effect, then the Euratom regime will last through to 31 December 2020. However, if the UK leaves the EU on 31 March 2019 without being able to conclude a Withdrawal Agreement, the legislative framework of which these Regulations are part aims to ensure continuity.

About the Author:

William Wilson is a specialist environmental, regulatory and nuclear lawyer with over 25 years experience in government, private practice and consultancy. He worked as a senior lawyer at the UK Department of the Environment/DETR/Defra, and helped to build up the environmental and nuclear practices at another major law firm, as well as running his own environmental policy consultancies.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For further information or for assistance from the Prospect Law nuclear team in assessing the impact of these Regulations for your operations, or in preparing input to the consultation process, please contact Edward de la Billiere on +44 (0)7824 506022 or by e-mail on edlb@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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EU COURT NEONICOTINOID INSECTICIDE JUDGMENTS: SIGNIFICANCE FOR UK AGRICULTURE, CHEMICALS AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, PART III

In the first article of this series we reported  on the three joined neonicotinoid pesticide judgements issued by the EU General Court on 17 May 2018 (First Article)

In the second article we considered in more detail why these judgements come at a particularly significant point for agriculture in the UK and EU, the immediate implications for Brexit, how they represent a divergence between the UK government and some farming organisations, and why that matters for the current consultations on an Environmental Principles and Governance Bill.  We will consider environmental principles and governance further in future articles.

In the third and final article in this series we will consider some of the impacts of farm chemicals on farmland birds and on water and question the implications of the judgements and current policies and practices for human health.

Impacts of Farm Chemicals on Birds and Water

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ‘RSPB’ reports that increased use of farm chemicals – fertilisers and pesticides – is one factor, amongst several others, in the decrease in bird populations in the British countryside, stating that the following list shows percentage declines of some bird species recorded in the Common Bird Census between 1970 and 1999:

Tree sparrow  – 95%
Corn bunting  – 88%
Willow tit  – 78%
Spotted flycatcher – 77%
Woodcock  – 74%
Starling  – 71%
Turtle dove  – 71%
Song thrush  – 56%
Bullfinch  – 53%
Skylark  – 52%
Cuckoo  – 33%

Meanwhile the EU Drinking Water Directive 98/83/EC, and the newly adopted proposal for its replacement, set very low levels, of 0.1 microgrammes per litre, as allowable levels for most individual pesticides, 0.030 microgrammes per litre for aldrin, dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide, and 0.5 microgrammes per litre for ‘total pesticides’.

However, there are some signs that water companies, and their customers, face enormous costs in meeting these very strict requirements. For example, Anglian Water has estimated that it could cost an initial £600 million, with a further £17 million per year, to set up and run treatment simply to deal with metaldehyde from slug pellets, and that this could imply a 21% increase in the cost of water bills to its customers.

Impacts on Human Health

Michael Deland, who was Chair of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality from 1989 to 1993, has stated:

“We are now confronting, because of our industrialised society, an entirely different variety and much more insidious and complex form of pollution, namely toxics. We measure pollutants now, not in tons, but in parts per million, trillion or quadrillion. The challenge that we’ve not yet been able to meet adequately is the causal relationship between a part per million, trillion or quadrillion, of a given pollutant, and its effect on our health and that of our kids. That is where a good deal of our research needs to be.”

Regulation has nevertheless tended to rely upon ‘tolerances’ or ‘safe’ levels, as reflected in the EU Drinking Water Directive example given above. However, as Rachel Carson noted in Silent Spring, back in 1963, in effect all that establishing tolerances is doing is authorising contamination of public food supplies with poisonous chemicals so that farmers and processors can enjoy the benefits of cheaper production – then penalising the consumer by raising taxes to maintain a policing agency to make sure that he does not receive a lethal dose. However, as she added drily, doing the policing job properly would require unsustainable levels of taxes, given the present volume and toxicity of agricultural chemicals, so “in the end the luckless consumer pays his taxes but gets his poisons regardless.”

The benchmark for assessing what is safe

Human health, and the effects of farm chemicals upon it, should be the standard ultimately relied on. However, we do not seem to be much further forward in determining quite what level of organophosphates, glyphosate, synthetic pyrethroids, nitrates, total pesticides or other farm chemicals it is acceptable to spray on fields, use as treatment on seeds, use at sea on caged fish, find in our rivers, find in our bloodstreams, or pass on to our children.

Those who participated in the negotiations that led to the current EU REACH chemicals Regulation of 2006 may remember that one of the simplest and most effective interventions in those negotiations, in 2003, was when the World Wildlife Fund offered 40 Members of the European Parliament, and some key European Commission officials, including the then Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom, blood tests with chemical analysis. It turned out that her blood showed evidence of 28 chemicals, including Poly Brominated Diphenyl Ethers, PBDE flame retardants, Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls, PCBs, and Organochlorine Pesticides, in particular DDT, which was what Rachel Carson was writing about in the 1960s, and which was banned for most agricultural purposes in 1978, and subject of a total ban on uses in agriculture in 1983. Margot Wallstrom was also a parent, and some reports at the time suggested that breast feeding for six months could give an infant 17% of its lifetime dose of some persistent chemicals.

We are supposed to be guided by the best science in these matters – that is the commitment often given by government. It therefore seems to be relevant and significant that Defra’s own Chief Scientist Ian Boyd stated in 2017 that the assumption by regulators around the world that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scale across landscapes is false; that the lack of any limit on the total amount of pesticides used and the virtual absence of monitoring of their effects on the environment means it can take years for the impacts to become apparent.

The EU Court’s neonicotinoid judgements are a significant contribution to the law, and to the debates that ought to be taking place on the wider questions of the use of pesticides and farm chemicals, delivered at a critical time for UK agriculture.

About the Author:

William Wilson is a specialist environmental, regulatory and nuclear lawyer with over 25 years experience in government, private practice and consultancy. He worked as a senior lawyer at the UK Department of the Environment/DETR/Defra, and helped to build up the environmental and nuclear practices at another major law firm, as well as running his own environmental policy consultancies. William has experience of all aspects of environmental law, including water, waste, air quality and industrial emissions, REACH and chemicals regulation, environmental protection, environmental permitting, litigation, legislative drafting, managing primary legislation, negotiating EU Directives and drafting secondary legislation.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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HIGH COURT GIVES GUIDANCE ON COSTS OF DEFENDING S.289 TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT PROCEEDINGS

In Elghanian v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (heard on 18 April 2018) Mrs Justice Lang considered the costs regime for defending challenges to the validity to enforcement notices.

Background:

The London Borough of Brent (represented by Dr Ashley Bowes of Prospect Law) had succeeded in resisting a challenge by Mr Elghanian, under s. 174 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, against two enforcement notices which had been issued against him by the London Borough of Brent (“Brent”). Those appeals were dismissed by an Inspector following an Inquiry and Mr Elghanian applied to appeal the Inspector’s decision under s. 289. Following an oral hearing on 18 April 2018, Mrs Justice Lang refused permission to appeal.

Brent sought the costs it had incurred preparing and filing a skeleton argument, on the basis that the costs of preparing and filing an acknowledgment of service are recoverable from all parties to a judicial review, and, in the absence of such a procedure in s.289 proceedings, the skeleton argument performs the same function. Brent relied upon R (Mount Cook Land Ltd) v Westminster CC [2017] PTSR 1166.

Costs regime for appeals under s.289 proceedings:

The Appellant opposed this application, relying on the rule derived from Bolton MDC v SSE [1995] 1 WLR 1176 that a second respondent in s. 288 planning appeals would “not normally be entitled to his costs unless he can show that there was likely to be a separate issue on which he was entitled to be heard, that is to say an issue not covered by counsel for the Secretary of State; or unless he has an interest which requires separate representation“. No such issue or interest was identified by Brent.

Mrs Justice Lang held that “the permission and costs regime for appeals under s. 289 is separate and distinct from judicial reviews and other appeals“. The Court ruled that the Mount Cook costs principle does not apply in such cases. In particular, the Judge held that Bolton remains good law in the specific context of a permission hearing for a s. 289 appeal.

As there was no separate issue which required Brent to be represented at the permission hearing, the Appellant was not ordered to pay Brent’s costs of attendance. However, Mrs Justice Lang also held that Brent was not entitled to the costs it had incurred preparing a skeleton argument.

Appeals under s.288 of the 1990 Act:

A similar procedure applies in the case of appeals under s. 288 of the 1990 Act, which are usually concerned with the grant or dismissal of planning permission. There, any person served with the claim form that wishes to take part in the planning statutory review must also file an AoS. This is followed by consideration of permission on the papers and an oral renewal hearing, where it is also rare to award second respondents their costs.

In contrast, in s. 289 appeals there is an obligatory permission hearing which respondents are entitled, but not required, to attend. There is no provision in the rules for a local planning authority or any other person served with the application to file any pleading.

Harmonisation of s.288 and s.289 regimes:

Mrs Justice Lang considered that it would be desirable to harmonise these different regimes, but that the appropriate means of doing so was by way of amendment to the CPR rather than by piecemeal judicial decision-making. She concluded:

A skeleton argument is not analogous to an acknowledgment of service, in my view. It is part of the preparation for an oral hearing. In an application for permission under section 289 TCPA 1990, it is envisaged that respondents and other persons served will attend the permission hearing, and if successful, a costs award will be made in their favour, unless the Bolton principles apply. To that extent, the regime is more favourable to respondents than judicial review or statutory review under section 288 TCPA 1990. I acknowledge that it is less favourable for local planning authorities who are excluded from a costs award in respect of their written response to the application, as well as attendance at the hearing, by the Bolton principles.” (paragraph 20)

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

About the Author:

Ashley Bowes is a specialist planning barrister who frequently represents clients in planning inquiries and onto litigation in the courts, including up to the Supreme Court. He is a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, in which capacity he represents the UK Government in planning matters.  He is also the General Editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s Journal of Planning & Environment Law and the Author of Oxford University Press’ ‘A Practical Approach to Planning Law’ (14th. Ed.).

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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EU COURT NEONICOTINOID INSECTICIDE JUDGMENTS: SIGNIFICANCE FOR UK AGRICULTURE, CHEMICALS AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, PART II

In the first article of this series we reported on the three joined neonicotinoid pesticide judgements issued by the EU General Court on 17 May 2018. In this article we consider in more detail why these judgements come at a particularly significant point for agriculture in the UK and EU, the immediate implications for Brexit, how they represent a divergence between the UK government and some farming organisations, and why that matters for the current consultations on an Environmental Principles and Governance Bill.

The final article in this series will consider some of the impacts of farm chemicals on birds, water and human health, and how these judgements may be important for a wider re-appraisal of pesticide use in the UK.

Agriculture at the crossroads

Agriculture is at a critical point, both at EU and UK levels. On 2 May 2018 the European Commission embarked on two years of what will be difficult negotiations of a new Multiannual Financial Framework, or budget, for the EU, which will need to take account of the withdrawal of the UK’s net contribution and pressures for increased spending on other issues such as border management, migration, asylum and security. Some commentators expect the long term decline of spending on the Common Agricultural Policy as a proportion of the EU budget to continue, and it seems equally likely that where support is given to agriculture, conditions attaching a requirement for the protection of the environment will be strengthened.

At UK level, the government has promised to maintain agricultural subsidies for the next few years as the UK leaves the EU, but there are no promises to do so over the long term, and again it seems likely that environmental protection requirements as part of the ‘conditionality’ for farm subsidies will only increase.

Farmers are awaiting publication of a promised UK Agriculture Bill as part of the legislation required to deliver Brexit. Agriculture is also a devolved matter, and further legislation is likely in the short term. For example, the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for Wales has been carrying out its own inquiry into agriculture and the environment, and the ‘common frameworks’ needed to ensure some form of coordination between UK and devolved agricultural policy.

Immediate significance of the judgments with Brexit

The immediate significance of the Court’s neonicotinoid judgements is that they become part of the acquis communautaire, or body of EU law. They are now part of EU law, they apply to the UK as it is currently a member of the EU, and the UK government has undertaken to ensure the conversion of the whole acquis communautaire into UK law by means of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Again, where agriculture is a devolved matter, for example in Wales and Scotland, the Parliaments of Wales and Scotland can be expected to deliver legislation with similar effects: in the case of Scotland, it may require the Supreme Court to rule on whether this should be done by means of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill or its own ‘continuity’ legislation (see our earlier briefing on Wales, Devolution, Brexit and the Environment).

Divergence between UK government and farmers’ organisations

In November 2017, Michael Gove, UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the reversal of the UK government’s policy on neonicotinoids, and its support for the EU’s total ban on outside uses, writing that –

“The weight of evidence now shows the risks that neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood.”

However, as noted, the UK’s National Farmers Union was in court supporting the manufacturers’ legal challenge to the EU ban.

This is not an isolated example of a significant divergence between the UK government and the NFU in their approach to farm chemicals, which can also be noted in their respective statements on organophosphates in sheep dip, glyphosate, and the use of chemicals on the ‘landscape scale’ (see the third article in this series on the views of Defra’s Chief Scientist). At a time when public and political opinion really matters, this sort of divergence is potentially very significant.

Environmental Principles and Governance

The Court’s neonicotinoids judgements also come at a time when both the UK government, and those of each of the home nations, are examining very fundamental questions about the environmental governance that should apply after Brexit, how to replace the enforcement of environmental laws when the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union are no longer enforcing EU law in the UK, and which environmental principles should inform UK laws and in what way. House of Lords amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will ensure that this is further debated in the UK Parliament before that Bill can be enacted.

The UK government and Defra issued a consultation on a proposed Environmental Principles and Governance Bill on 10 May 2018, and Parliaments in Wales and Scotland will also be considering these issues. The Court’s strong re-statement of the precautionary principle is therefore timely and significant.

This is one of the core environmental principles of EU environmental law. How it fares after Brexit, and how it comes to be reflected in UK law and the law of the devolved Parliaments will be closely watched.

About the Author:

William Wilson is a specialist environmental, regulatory and nuclear lawyer with over 25 years experience in government, private practice and consultancy. He worked as a senior lawyer at the UK Department of the Environment/DETR/Defra, and helped to build up the environmental and nuclear practices at another major law firm, as well as running his own environmental policy consultancies. William has experience of all aspects of environmental law, including water, waste, air quality and industrial emissions, REACH and chemicals regulation, environmental protection, environmental permitting, litigation, legislative drafting, managing primary legislation, negotiating EU Directives and drafting secondary legislation.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here