ADA responds to Environment Agency’s 2018 permit charge proposals

ADA responds to Environment Agency’s 2018 permit charge proposals

A consultation document published by the Environment Agency in November 2017 proposes a number of significant increases in charges for permits issued under the Environmental Permitting Regulations from April 2018. The charges relate to application, variation, surrender and annual compliance permit fees for a broad range of regulatory activities including flood risk management, waste regulation, and water quality.

ADA’s interest in the Environment Agency’s proposed changes to these charging regimes is to ensure the regulations and charges facilitate the delivery of effective and efficient management of flood risk and water levels across England. The regulatory regime should not act as a barrier to close cooperation and partnerships between risk management authorities, their suppliers and the communities and stakeholders they serve and should facilitate better outcomes for the natural environment.

ADA understands the need for a suitable charging regime for the Environment Agency’s regulatory functions. However, further work is needed to engage with the wider flood risk management sector in England before future charges are implemented. There is a strong imperative for the Environment Agency to ensure that these costs are fair, proportionate, competitive and transparent. Importantly, the Agency must show that it is efficient in its regulatory processes and taking action to keep the costs of these services to a minimum. ADA has responded to the public consultation and will discuss our views further with the Environment Agency.

Principally ADA is concerned by:

  • the proposed scale of the charge increases,
  • the information and transparency provided around the proposed charges,
  • the limited engagement that has been made with the flood risk management sector in developing these charging proposals,
  • the very short timescales proposed for the introduction of the charges post consultation.
  • the risk of creating disincentives for riparian owners and risk management authorities to work towards the better management of flood risk, water levels and the water environment.

Read ADA’s consultation response here