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ACTION ON FLY-TIPPING: NEW PROPOSALS SET OUT

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Measures to curb the blight caused by the illegal dumping of waste, ...
Measures to curb the blight caused by the illegal dumping of waste,

known as fly-tipping, were outlined by local environmental quality

minister Alun Michael today.

Speaking at an event to publish the findings of a survey of the state

of England's streets, Mr Michael gave details of two consultation

exercises, starting today, which will inform the government's action

on tackling fly-tipping. He invited everyone with an interest to

contribute their views.

Mr Michael commented:

'Fly-tipping activity ranges from individuals who irresponsibly

dispose of their domestic rubbish through lack of awareness, to

organised large scale criminal activity. In the worst incidents it is

not only an eyesore and an inconvenience but can pose a threat to

human health.

'The Environment Agency estimates that there are around 50,000

fly-tipping incidents a year, costing individuals and public bodies

up to£150m to clear.

'It is important to ensure that the enforcement bodies have a range

of tools available to tackle the full range of fly-tipping problems.

The government is committed to addressing this unsightly, costly, and

potentially dangerous activity. By doing so we can bring about a

significant improvement in the quality of our public space and the

quality of peoples lives.'

The first consultation seeks to develop effective joint working

between the various agencies with an interest in fly-tipping

prevention. Statutory directions will enhance the clarity of the

roles of local authorities, dealing with small scale local incidents,

and the Environment Agency, who would focus on larger scale tipping

of non-hazardous waste, certain hazardous wastes, and the involvement

of organised crime. The agency would also have a role in providing

strategic support and advice for local authorities.

The second consultation, the Fly-Tipping Strategy, focuses on changes

to existing legislation to make it more useab le and effective, and

further measures that would be implemented through secondary

legislation or voluntary action.

The government's objectives are to:

* Ensure better prevention, investigation, and enforcement of

fly-tipping

* Make existing legislation more usable and effective

* Extend the range of powers available, to increase flexibility when

dealing with fly-tipping

* Ensure the Environment Agency and local authorities can do their

job as effectively as possible, and

* Ensure that waste producers take responsibility for having their

waste legally managed

A range of measures to deal with fly-tipping is already in place.

Under the terms of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 local

authorities will be able to stop, search and if necessary seize

vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping. They will also have

the power to investigate incidents, to help track down and prosecute

those responsible.

The Act has also led to joint working between Defra, the Environment

Agency and local authorities to develop a database, named Flycapture,

which will collate data, provide a source of national statistics, and

be used to assess the effectiveness of national and local policies.

Proposals in the Strategy to complement these powers include:

* Fixed penalty notices for failure to show a valid waste transfer

note or waste carrier registration

* Higher fines of£50,000 for repeat offences convicted in a

Magistrates' court

* More robust powers under the Environmental Protection Act for

clearing waste from land. This is designed to enable the authorities

to deal with problems including absentee landlords operating illegal

waste sites, but does not remove the defence for landowners and

occupiers who haven't knowingly caused or permitted fly-tipping to

take place

* Addressing problems associated with construction, demolition, and

excavation waste

* The development of research into the causes o f fly-tipping, which

will result in production of a comprehensive good practice guide for

local authorities on pro-active ways of preventing fly-tipping

Both consultations will run until 14 May 2004 and will be

available at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/current.htm or by

contacting Defra Publications, Admail 6000, London SW1A 2XX, tel:

08459 556000.

Notes

1. Environment minister Elliot Morley has departmental responsibility

within Defra for fly-tipping policy, as a waste management issue.

Alun Michael launched today's consultations in his role as minister

for local environmental quality.

2. Proposals to tackle fly-tipping were included in the consultation

document, Living Places: Powers, Rights, Responsibilities, which was

published in 2002.

3. Some of these measures were taken forward in the Anti-Social

Behaviour Act 2003, which focused on improving the toolkit of powers

available to local authorities to tackle fly-tipping.

More information about Flycapture, the National Fly-Tipping Data

Project, will be available on the Environment Agency's website at:

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fly-tipping

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