In the News
The COMAH Strategic Forum (CSF) has developed an external web community (CSFweb) to provide information, news, guidance and reports on the work of the forum and allied groups such as the Chemical and Downstream Oil Industries Forum (CDOIF). CDOIF material previously located on the HSE website has been copied across to CSFweb and visitors to the CDOIF site will in future be transferred automatically to the CDOIF pages of the CSFweb. CSF is a joint industry and regulator forum working to improve major accident hazard management and raise standards across industry. CSFweb is at http://webcommunities.hse.gov.uk/connect.ti/COMAHSF/groupHome
Four directors of a carbon credit company have been banned for a total of forty-two years. Their company, World Future, sold voluntary emission reduction carbon credits (VERs) at highly inflated prices to members of the public as an investment. They netted at least £2,484,500 although the credits actually had no investment potential.
VERs are fundamentally different from the licences to pollute (such as CERs) that can be readily traded in the compliance carbon market established under the Kyoto protocol. VERs are intended to be used by businesses or individuals to offset their carbon footprints. Unlike with CERs, there is no readily accessible market where customers can sell on their VERs in the hope of being able to make a profit.
Thirty charities will receive more than £1.5 million for projects benefiting wildlife and the environment as a result of enforcement action by the Environment Agency. There are twenty-six Enforcement Undertakings on the list with payments ranging from £1,500 – £375,000, including six which are of six figures. As well as making a suitable payment to an appropriate environmental charity, each company has accepted liability, demonstrated restoration of harm and invested to reduce the risk of similar breaches occurring in future.
The Environment Agency’s ability to accept Enforcement Undertakings was extended in 2015 to a far wider range of offences. The Agency is increasingly using this method of enforcement for suitable cases to swiftly restore the environment, improve practices of the offending company and avoid longer criminal court cases. However prosecutions will still be taken, particularly in the most serious cases.