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In this April podcast of 2019, Mark Davies and Christopher Badger of 6 Pump Court consider and discuss:
- further developments in the creation of the new Office for Environmental Protection
- the European Commission's latest publication on pharmaceuticals in the environment, and
- the alleged lack of content in Philip Hammond's 2019 Spring Statement
To listen to the podcast click here
Not to be confused with last month's review of funding and form of the OEP, Mark and Chris proceed to look this time at the review by the Environmental Audit Comittee of the draft Environmental Principles and Governance Bill and in particular the development of the OEP. As the Welsh Government join the Scottish government in announcing a consultation on how to address potential governance gaps when the UK leaves the EU, Mark asks whether devolved government will agree to the proposals for the OEP to have regulatory oversight over their environmental arrangements? And could the OEP really be based in Aberdeen as has been suggested?
Next Mark and Chris turn to the emerging problem of pollution caused by pharmaceuticals, looking in particular at risks to the environment and at the problem of antimicrobial resistance in animals and humans. The problem of potential impact on the reproductive capabilites of animals and humans cannot be ignored and Mark and Chris argue that the issue justifies a precautionary approach consistent with proposals to introduce a relevant parameter into the Drinking Water Directive. Of particular concern are possible emissions from antimicrobial manufacturing plants in 3rd countries, which are contributing to the problem at a global level.
The Commission appears to favour a holistic approach to addressing the problem, involving pharmaceutical producers, medical professionals, the agricultural sector, governments and water treatment plants.
In the final part of the podcast, Chris and Mark ask is there anything of real substance in the Spring Statement? It may be an exciting time to be an environment lawyer as the Environment Bill is being drafted, policy is being written on environmental principles, there are global initiatives on green finance and the issue of sustainable fashion is being raised - but to what extent are these things manifested as Economic Policy that will drive real long term environmental improvements?
For more information on these stories, see:
- Lexis PSL News: European Commission adopts Communication outlining environmental risks in pharmaceuticals
- Lexis PSL News: Welsh Government announces consultation on gaps in environmental principles post-Brexit
- Lexis PSL News: Spring Statement 2019: Government introduces climate change initiatives
- Lexis PSL News: Spring Statement 2019: Government to set out approach to UK’s urban strategy
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