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News From MJCA

Removal of dewatering licence exemptions

In England and Wales the current exemption from water abstraction licensing for quarry dewatering will be removed from 1 January 2018 and transitional arrangements will be put in place such that operators of sites operating under a current exemption from abstraction licensing will have two years from this date to apply for a licence from the Environment Agency (EA) or Natural Resources Wales (NRW).  

To qualify for the transitional arrangements operators will need to be able to demonstrate that abstraction has been undertaken at the site within the seven-year qualifying period prior to the removal of the exemption on 1 January 2018. Operators need to make sure suitable information is collated to facilitate the preparation of an application including evidence that an abstraction has taken place within the seven year qualifying period and where possible recording of the volumes of water being abstracted and discharged and details on the use of water on the site.  It would be prudent for operators to collect also additional information for example groundwater level monitoring information relevant to assessing potential impacts of quarry dewatering on the environment, water resources and sensitive receptors such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) located in the vicinity of sites. 

Although operators of sites which do qualify for the transitional arrangement will have two years from 1 January 2018 to submit an application for a licence, in practice applications will need to be submitted at least 3 months prior to the application submission deadline of 31 December 2019 in order that there is enough time for the regulator to review the application and if necessary obtain further information from the operator so that the application can be validated before the deadline. 

Government guidance on water abstractions has been updated and new application forms and guidance for filling in the forms have been made available online

Contact MJCA to find out more about the removal of the dewatering licence exemption, the transitional arrangements and the application process.

How to avoid the main pitfalls when deciding whether a waste is or is not hazardous?

A newly formed working group on the classification of waste has developed a simple set of guidance notes.  MJCA are part of the working group and helped to develop the document ‘Misclassification of waste – and how you can avoid it’.  The document is here


Follow this link to read our August 2017 Contaminated Land Newsletter

This newsletter provides an update on contaminated land news covering the following topics:

  • British Standards
  • Risk Assessment for Hydrocarbons
  • Brownfield Land Registers
  • Guidance on the approach to groundwater protection
  • SAGTA - C4SLs
  • Misclassification of waste

Please find a link to the note on “Misclassification of waste and how to avoid it”  published by the Environmental Services Association. This guide was developed by a waste industry group, including MJCA, to help people to avoid the errors that commonly are made.


Follow this link to read our March 2017 Contaminated Land Newsletter

This newsletter provides an update on contaminated land news covering the following topics:

  • More housing on brownfield
  • Unlocking brownfield development
  • Contamination and archaeology
  • DoWCoP update
  • Asbestos - JIWG
  • National Quality Mark Scheme - 2017

 Leslie Heasman and Dr Mark Sudworth of MJCA provided expert technical advice to the legal team representing Recycled Material Supplies Limited (RMS) who won a landmark judgement  ([2017] EWCA Crim 58) in the Court of Appeal on 24 February 2017. The Court of Appeal was asked by RMS to consider whether the activities it conducted at its site in London comprised a site-based waste operation regulated by the Environment Agency or a site-based waste operation and a separate Part B mobile plant operation regulated by the local authority (London Borough of Newham).  The Court of Appeal ruled that RMS did not undertake a separate Part B mobile plant operation at the site and therefore the waste activities should be regulated solely by the Environment Agency.  On this basis the Court of Appeal ruled that the Environmental Permit for Part B mobile plant issued by London Borough of Newham was invalid and consequently quashed the convictions that resulted from a prosecution brought by London Borough of Newham in 2014 for breaches of the Part B permit.  The technical advice provided by MJCA was instrumental to the defence case presented at the original trial and to the successful grounds of the Appeal.  This decision has implications for future regulation at other sites where the same activities are currently regulated by both an Environment Agency and a Local Authority Environmental Permit.