LexisPSL Environment News Podcast – July 2018

Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell, the first enforcement undertaking for odour nuisance and the re-introduction of the Environment Agency’s Definition of Waste Service

Welcome to our environmental law news podcast produced in partnership this month with Mark Davies, Barrister, 6 Pump Court.

In this podcast, we consider some of the key legal developments in environmental law during July 2018, including:

  • The recent Court of Appeal decision concerning civil liability arising from the incursion of the invasive species Japanese knotweed in Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell
  • The first enforcement undertaking accepted in a case of odour nuisance; and
  • The re-introduction of the Environment Agency’s Definition of Waste Service

To listen to the podcast, press play below or to download and perhaps listen on the go, click here.

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Court of Appeal decision in the case of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell – listen from 0.53 secs

Mark takes us through the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell in which the Court grappled with the question as to what kinds of damage may give rise to an actionable claim in the tort of private nuisance.

Mark helpfully provides the background details in this case concerning the spread of highly invasive Japanese knotweed from Network Rail’s land, outlines the decision at first instance and then highlights the key points to note from the Court of Appeal judgment.

Enforcement undertaking for odour nuisance – listen from 5.03 mins

Mark provides some details and analysis of the first enforcement undertaking to be accepted by the Environment Agency following odour complaints. The enforcement undertaking was agreed between Renewi UK Services Ltd (formerly Shanks Waste Management Ltd) and the Environment Agency in respect of a site on Sowerby Woods Industrial Estate, Barrow-in-Furness; one of Cumbria’s two municipal waste facilities. Residents had been complaining of the effect of odour from the site since 2014. Those reports had been investigated by the Environment Agency and the operator had taken steps to minimise the impact of the odour.

Importantly, the Environment Agency makes clear that where appropriate, it may be in the public interest to accept an enforcement undertaking from an operator, rather than prosecuting them for an offence.

Environment Agency’s ‘Definition of Waste Service’ – listen from 7.56 mins

At the end of June 2018, the Environment Agency launched its Definition of Waste Service to complement the ‘IsItWaste’ tool. Mark explains how the new service works, including costs and the key questions that may be asked to determine the status of the waste in question.

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Filed Under: Environment

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