Consultation on Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations to transpose the directive on carbon capture and storage and to encourage anaerobic digestion

The UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), jointly with the Welsh Government, launched this consultation on proposed amendments to be made to the Environmental Permitting (EP) Regulations 2010, in order to transpose the EU CCS Directive into national law. The consultation only covers England and Wales.

The consultation seeks views on the proposal for:

  • the addition of a new paragraph to Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Regulations requiring capture activities to be regulated in accordance with the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive (Directive 2008/1/EC). This paragraph would transpose Article 37 of the EU CCS Directive into UK national law;
  • the insertion of a new provision into Schedule 22 to allow, by way of exemption, CO2 to be injected for storage purposes into geological formations which are unsuitable for other purposes, provided that the injection is in accordance with the EU CCS Directive. This inclusion would transpose the exemption contained in Article 32 of the EU CCS Directive with respect to the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) into UK law; and
  • with respect to offshore CCS, an amendment to Schedule 1 of the Regulations in order to avoid overlaps between the Offshore Combustion Installations Regulations 2001 (as amended) and the EP Regulations 2010. Further to such amendment, CO2 storage installations will be required to obtain a permit under the Offshore Combustion Installation Regulations, but not under the EP Regulations.

These Amendments were due to come into force on 6 April 2011. However, in February 2011, DEFRA declared that their entry into force was delayed further to the Government's decision that an agreement on civil sanctions for England was needed before implementing such amendments. The Environmental Permitting (Amendment) Regulations 2011 are now expected to come into force on 1 October 2011, after being laid in Parliament in Spring. However, due to the deadline for transposition of the CCS Directive (25 June 2011), DEFRA confirmed that the amendments transposing Article 32 and 37 of the Directive will come into force during the Summer.

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