SocEnv Response to the EFRA/ EAC Scrutiny of the Draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill Inquiry
In early 2019, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) and Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) issued an inquiry into the Draft Environment Bill. SocEnv responded to the inquiry and some headline points from our response are below:
- While welcoming the government’s ambition and stated commitment to improving environmental standards, we cited concerns regarding the independence and enforcement powers of the proposed Environmental Watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP). This raised serious questions over the OEP’s ability to hold government to account. To address these concerns, we called for the OEP to be moved away from Government and closer to Parliamentary scrutiny.
- To aid enforcement of the principles, we called for the OEP be able to take cases of non-compliance to the First Tier Tribunal. As laid out in the draft Bill, the Bill provides the OEP only with the ability to take cases to Judicial Review, which as a legal option has significant limitations.
Access our full response to the Scrutiny of the Draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill Inquiry via the link below.