86 environmental regulations are to be scrapped to save businesses £400 million over the next 20 years, as announced by the Energy Minister Charles Hendry.
The package of reforms forms part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge that also includes improvements to another 48 regulatory regimes. The aim is to remove surplus regulation hindering businesses.
“It is vital that we have a regulatory regime which promotes fairness and consumer and environmental protection, but does not impose unnecessary costs or barriers to generating the necessary investment, innovation and skills we need to build the low carbon economy,” says Hendry.
The changes cover areas from discharges from chemical installations to requirements for electricity lines and gas pipelines, as well as simplifications to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) and the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).
The changes to the EU ETS, which were confirmed earlier this summer, will allow small emitters and organisations like hospitals to opt out of the scheme from 2013.
The government maintains that the changes will maintain all environmental protections reducing costs and unnecessary burdens.