MP welcomes new illegal waste powers
Berwick's MP has welcomed new powers to tackle the serious problem of waste crime, and further action opened for consultation in a crack-down on illegal sites.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan has pledged to work with the Government and Northumberland County Council to ensure that waste crime is tackled in north Northumberland.
New powers will be introduced for the Environment Agency (EA) to lock the gates or block access to problem waste sites to prevent thousands of tonnes of waste illegally building up. The powers will also enable the EA to force operators to clear all the waste at a problem waste site, not just the illegal waste.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “Waste crime and fly-tipping blight our communities and spoil our countryside, and we need determined action to tackle it. Our area is one of outstanding beauty and supports a diverse and flourishing environment. Furthermore, it is home to many varieties of animals and birds which are part of our beautiful landscape and ecosystem.
“I am delighted these new powers for the Environment Agency will curb the rise of waste sites that continue to operate outside the law.”
“This will help ensure that our wildlife isn’t harmed by illegal waste dumping and that our environment is protected from the few that willfully harm our area by their needless and dangerous actions.”
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She added: “But we must all take responsibility for our waste to make sure it does not end up in the hands of criminals who will willfully dump it. The new consultation looks more widely at the waste sector and the Government is keen to hear from industry and the public on how they can improve performance, tackle illegality and protect our precious environment.
“I would encourage everyone to take part in the consultation to ensure their voice is heard in this process.”
Waste crime cost the English economy more than £600m in 2015, including lost landfill tax revenues and clean-up costs, and creates severe problems for people who live or work nearby with odour, dust, litter, vermin, fly infestations, pollution and fires blighting lives. Waste criminals also undercut genuine businesses who dispose of waste responsibly.
The government has also launched a new consultation to tackle crime and poor performance in the waste sector. Proposals include raising the bar required to hold EA waste permits, and putting a stop to criminals hiding their illegal activities by requiring them to register low-risk waste operations which are currently exempt from the need to hold a permit.