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Agricultural Waste Licences

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the charging of fees for agricultural waste licences; and what the evidential basis for that policy is. (251281)

In England and Wales, the recovery or disposal of agricultural waste does not generally require an environmental permit but benefits from one of a number of exemptions. Farmers have to register the exemptions with the Environment Agency. At present there is no charge for this.

DEFRA is currently undertaking a review of all permit exemptions, including those that apply to agricultural waste, and in the consultation document on that review it is proposed to introduce a charge for the registration of exemptions of £50 every three years. The Department is currently considering the responses to the consultation, on this point and others, and no decisions have yet been reached.

Where permits are required, they are subject to application fees and annual charges set out within a scheme that is consulted upon annually by the Environment Agency and approved by the Secretary of State. Fees and charges seek to recover the costs of regulation in accordance with the polluter pays principle and Treasury rules.