Environment Bill

Explanatory Notes

Legal background

53 A large proportion of UK environmental law derives from the EU, and its implementation is currently monitored and enforced by EU mechanisms and institutions, mainly the European Commission. This Bill will provide for a new policy statement setting out the environmental principles that will guide environmental policy-making and legislation, in a similar way to existing EU principles. The Bill will also provide for a domestic replacement for the scrutiny and enforcement function of the European Commission.

54 The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provided for legislation derived from the EU to form part of retained EU law when the UK leaves the EU. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 makes provision for the conversion of EU law into retained EU law to take place at the end of the implementation period rather than on exit day. The Bill provides powers to amend retained EU law in relation to several areas, including the regulation of chemicals and water quality.

55 The Bill also makes provision for new domestic policy to improve air quality, conserve and enhance nature, improve the management of resources and waste and modernise water regulation.The following significant domestic legislation is referenced or amended by this Bill:

Forestry Act 1967

Highways Act 1980

Environmental Protection Act 1990

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Land Drainage Act 1991

Water Industry Act 1991

Clean Air Act 1993

Environment Act 1995

Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999

Water Act 2003

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006

Climate Change Act 2008

Water Act 2014


Prepared 29th January 2020