Lexis PSL environmental law news podcast – August 2019

Lexis PSL environmental law news podcast – August 2019

In our August 2019 environmental law news podcast, we hear from Chris Badger and Mark Davies of 6 Pump Court on several recent cases, including:

  • Openbaar Ministerie v Tronex BV – on the meaning of waste
  • Thames Water’s latest fine
  • Latest win for ClientEarth – using corporate law mechanisms to advance environmental aims

 To listen to the podcast, click here.

Openbaar Ministerie v Tronex BV – on the meaning of waste – listen from 0.36 mins

In our first part of the podcast this month, Chris and Mark discuss the European Court of Justice judgment in Openbaar Ministerie v Tronex BV C-624/17, which deals with questions about the meaning of waste, particularly consumer electrical products and when a consignment of such products can be waste.

The ruling appears to require regulators to look at  the consignment in issue and come to a conclusion about the different types of product contained therein - finding that appliances which have not been ascertained to be in good working order or which are not in their packaging are waste, while those products in their packaging and in good working order are not waste.

Thames Water’s latest fine – listen from 5.06 mins

In August 2019, the Court of Appeal in  R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2019] EWCA Crim 1344 upheld a £2 million penalty against Thames Water for what the judge found to be a reckless failure to put in place and to enforce proper systems for the maintenance and monitoring of pumps, after discharges of untreated sewage were made into a brook in the Cotswolds, as a result of which 146 fish died.

Chris and Mark provide some background on Thames Water and the recent fines it has faced and discuss why the Court of Appeal upheld this most recent penalty.

For more information, see:

Latest win for ClientEarth – listen from 7.52 mins

In the final part of the podcast, we hear about ClientEarth’s recent win using corporate law mechanisms for the advancement of environmental aims and the protection of shareholders’ interests.

In this case ClientEarth secured success in taking shareholder action against Enea, co-owner of the project behind the EUR 1.2bn construction of the coal fired power plant Ostrołęka C, in Poland. Mark and Chris discuss how the action was advanced on two grounds, and what the District Court in Poznań found:

  • the first that the company resolution authorising the construction of the power plant ‘was an impermissible instruction to the management board of the company and therefore legally invalid, and
  • the second that ‘it would harm the economic interests of the company and should therefore be annulled’.


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About the author:

Simone is an environmental law specialist and is head of LexisPSL Environment.

Simone moved to LexisNexis from Clyde & Co where she trained. Whilst at Clyde & Co Simone gained experience in contentious work, including large scale arbitrations, private claims and regulatory breaches, and a variety of non-contentious issues. Some of her experience includes the EU Emissions Trading System, the domestic Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, environmental due diligence, Energy Performance Certificates, permitting requirements and contaminated land.

Simone has written a number of articles, which have been published in various journals and is a trustee of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA).