Environmental Legislation

A quick guide to environmental legislation for tourism businesses

This guide describes the key pieces of environmental legislation which tourism businesses should be aware of and comply with.

The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991
As the producer of waste, a business must take all reasonable steps to keep waste safe and ensure that a registered waste carrier collects it and removes it to a suitably authorised site. In addition a Waste Transfer Note needs to be produced for each transaction, which details the respective parties involved, the type and quantity of waste and the date(s) on which it occurred.

A tourism company in Mid Wales was recently a subject of enforcement action. They had been disposing of commercial waste, but not complying with their “Duty of Care”.

The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005
All hazardous waste should be segregated. As above, the Duty of Care needs to be complied with, however the transaction is covered by a Consignment Note. In addition if a company produces more than 500 kg of Hazardous Waste per annum, then it needs to register with Natural Resources Wales as a Hazardous Waste Producer and keep records which are submitted quarterly.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006
Electronic waste should not be disposed of with general waste and only to approved contractors and disposal routes.

The Water Resources Act 1991
The Act states: “It is an offense to cause or knowingly permit any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter or any solid waste matter to enter controlled waters” (lakes, rivers and the sea). There are provisions where a discharge consent can be obtained from Natural Resources Wales, such as discharge of treated sewage to a river.

The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993
A statutory nuisance is defined as any of the following: “Any premises in such a state that they are prejudicial to health or a nuisance”. These can include smoke, dust, steam, smells, accumulations, deposits, noise and any other matter declared to be a nuisance. 

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002
The regulations provide a comprehensive integrated regulatory system to protect health, safety and welfare of workers. It requires employers to control exposures to hazardous substances to protect both employees and others who may be exposed from
work activities.

Building Regulations 2000
These set minimum standards for energy efficiency for new buildings from 01 April 2002. These include lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, insulation and hot water systems. They also apply to the construction of extensions and refurbishment work
on domestic and commercial properties in England and Wales.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
The Act deals with public access (on foot) to designated land; it also amends some legislation relating to rights of way. In addition it strengthens wildlife enforcement relating to wildlife legislation.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
This is the major primary legislation which aims to protect wild animals, plants, wild birds, their eggs and nests.