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UK working to ensure waste shipment regulation isn’t “overly prescriptive”

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Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said that he is working with European partners to ensure proposed waste shipment regulation isn’t “overly prescriptive”.

In an update to Parliament, the Environment Secretary said that he had represented the UK at the European Environment Council meeting in Luxembourg on 14 October along with Energy Secretary Ed Davey and Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

He said: “Environment Ministers had an exchange of views on the proposal to amend the shipments of waste regulation. The [European] Commission emphasised the potentially severe environmental impact of the dumping or mismanagement of waste. The strengthening of inspections could bring economic benefits for members states.

“All members states welcomed the potential of proposals to improve compliance with the waste shipment regulation. The UK and Bulgaria argued that further consideration was required as the proposal risked failing to achieve its objectives. Several member states agreed with the UK’s concern that requiring the publication of detailed inspection plans could be counterproductive.

“The UK argued that such detailed proposals were contrary to the principle of subsidiarity. The UK would prefer an obligation on member states and their authorities to plan effectively for inspections, without being overly prescriptive. A number of member states, including Germany, supported the UK.”

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