LexisPSL Environment News Podcast - February 2019

LexisPSL Environment News Podcast - February 2019  

In this second podcast of 2019, Mark Davies and Christopher Badger of 6 Pump Court consider and discuss:

-          the Clean Air Strategy 2019

-          hot topics in the relationship between investment treaties and environmental protection, and

-          the problems causing hyperactivity of eels in the River Thames 

To listen to the podcast click here 

For a discussion of the 2019 clean air strategy – listen from 0.41minutes

Mark and Chris discuss reasons for the continued lack of improvement in air quality until now and ask are we turning a corner with the government's latest clean air strategy which prioritises air quality and aims to improve human health?

They outline the government’s ambitious plans to legislate to prohibit sale of the most polluting fuels; to phase out oil and coal heating; and to extend environmental permitting to the dairy and intensive beef farming sectors.

Investment treaties and environmental protection - listen from 4.32m

Next Mark and Chris turn to investment treaties and ask, as we head towards a no-deal Brexit, what role do investment treaties play in ensuring environmental protection?

Mark asks if the risk of uncertainty and imprecision in investment treaties is greater where the host state is desperate for financial investment?

However, a discussion of recent caselaw, in particular Vattenfall AB v Germany, Zelena N.V. v Serbia and David R Aven v. Costa Rica shows that things appear to be changing for the better in terms of the rights of a host state to regulate its own environmental protection.

And finally, the problem of London’s untreated waste water – listen from 9.50 mins

As the EU Commission threatens financial sanctions six years after the UK was found to be in breach under the Urban Waste Water Directive, Mark Davies looks at the continued problems caused by discharge of waste water into the Thames.  Did you know that a recent report has found signs of hyperactivity in eels due to high concentrations of cocaine in the Thames? Mark considers the role of the Commission not just in ensuring compliance with environmental law, but in ensuring that compliance is both timely and effective.  And Chris Badger asks will the new Office for Environmental Protection be in a position to chastise or penalise the government, at a time of significant investment in London’s waste water treatment infrastructure, including the construction of the Lee Tunnel and the Thames Tunnel?

For more information on these stories, see:

-          Lexis PSL News Analysis: Clean Air Strategy 2019

-          Arbitration Analysis: David Aven

-          Lexis PSL News: -  VattenfallEurope Generation AG    

-          Lexis PSL Practice Note: Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC

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About the author:
Andrea is a Professional Support Lawyer at LexisNexis, specialising in environmental law. She has a background in contaminated land and environmental insurance, and a Masters degree in waste management. She qualified in 1997 at Browne Jacobson and later worked in the Environment and Planning team at SJ Berwin, before moving in house to work as Senior Solicitor at Certa (UK) Ltd. More recently Andrea has worked as a legal consultant, completing projects for blue chip companies. Andrea is an active member of the UK Environmental Law Association.