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Legal Updates

The Welsh Assembly has been given new law-making powers in relation to the environment.

18 February 2010 #Environment


The Environment Legislative Competence Order (LCO), which has now gained royal approval, confers a right on the Assembly to issue primary legislation (known as Assembly Measures) in the areas of waste, pollution and nuisances. The stated policy areas on which the Senedd will be concentrating are: -

  • Waste - with particular emphasis on preventing, reducing, collecting, managing and treating waste, together with sustainable waste, waste disposal and recycling
  • Pollution - implementing pollution controls to improve and protect the environment, including the management of air, light and noise pollution
  • Nuisances - addressing nuisances and improving local environmental quality

Jane Davidson, the Welsh Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister, has said the new powers will be utilised effectively in order to reduce the national carbon footprint. "We can move forward," she said, "with our work to introduce a measure that will enable us to adopt more sustainable waste management practices here in Wales."

This news represents an important step in the development of Wales-specific environmental issues, particularly in relation to waste management. Although environmental policy issues have been devolved for some time, this is the first time the Assembly has had the legislative competence to implement environmental legislation - in the form of Measures - to address specific national concerns and priorities. Intended Measures will in turn be subject to scrutiny and consideration by the National Assembly in the normal way, and we will be monitoring their progress.

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