Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today introduced the Environmental Better Regulation Bill into the Assembly.

Admin 2 Press Releases, Stormont

The Bill aims to reduce complexity of environmental legislation, lessen regulatory burdens on businesses and strengthen protection of our environment.
The Bill provides the necessary legislative framework for new regulations to be brought forward to make it easier for a business to understand its compliance requirements, thus reducing red tape.
The regulations will also make it easier for DOE to assess and enforce compliance and to enable it to focus more on those activities which pose a higher risk to the environment.
Speaking after the Bill’s introduction, the Minister said: “This is a win win situation. Better for the environment. Better for business. The Bill is about better and smarter environmental regulation. It aims to find less burdensome, less unnecessary, ways to regulate. At the same time it finds better ways to protect the environment, while facilitating economic growth.
“Rest assured that environmental protection standards will be in no way weakened or compromised as a result of these proposals.
“The Bill aligns with the Executive’s Programme for Government priority of growing a sustainable economy and investing in the future by having a simpler, harmonized and easier to understand regulatory framework.
“Regulation needs to be focussed on the real risks and designed so that it actually protects the environment. We need an environmental regulatory system which goes beyond “fit for purpose” and which actively supports and recognises responsible businesses and their need for swift, well informed decisions. The provisions in the Bill are designed to support that.
“All types of businesses will be able to benefit in the same way from a more streamlined environmental regulatory system which will also allow for certain existing permissions to be brought together into a single environmental permit. Further details on how the new system will work in practice will be provided when the consultation on environmental permitting regulations is carried out and the statutory review of powers of entry is completed after the Bill is passed. A consultation will also be carried out on any new powers of entry regulations.”
Welcoming third party endorsement for the Bill the Minister continued: “Indeed, the environmental NGO sector, responding to recent consultations, were highly supportive of the range of proposals in this legislation. Further, it ties in with good practice in other countries such as England, Wales, the Netherlands and Australia.”

Admin 2Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today introduced the Environmental Better Regulation Bill into the Assembly.