Environmental Management Records UK

Description of Business Function

The function of managing the impact of the organisation and its operations on the environment, and of ensuring compliance with legislation on environmental matters; this includes the collecting, classifying, storing, and disposing of waste.

Basis of Retention and Disposition

The keeping of environmental records is based upon time limits for enforcement and legal action including within The Environment Act 1985(i.e. 30 years). The keeping of waste records is based upon statutory requirements within various regulations.

At the end of the retention period, disposition decisions would depend on whether there is any current or pending Legal, Compliance or Tax Hold to which they relate as well as any enduring reference value or evidence of process. It may well be that there is a decision to keep certain records for longer periods to align with keeping construction records for at least the life of the property.

Retention Rules Per Record Type

Record Type Minimum Retention Period Rationale
Audits and accreditation Superseded + 30 years Based on the 30 year time limit on any enforcement action being taken as stated within The Environment Act 1995
Environmental planning Superseded + 30 years Based on the 30 year time limit on any enforcement action being taken as stated within The Environment Act 1995
Incidents and investigations Investigation closed + 30 years Based on the 30 year time limit on any enforcement action being taken as stated within The Environment Act 1995
Registrations and licences Superseded + 30 years Based on the 30 year time limit on any enforcement action being taken as stated within The Environment Act 1995
Risk assessments Superseded + 30 years Based on the 30 year time limit on any enforcement action being taken as stated within The Environment Act 1995
Construction site waste management plan Project completion + 2 years Based on The Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008, s. 10
Hazardous Waste Transfer or Disposal + 3 years Based on various statutory obligations, including those within the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005
Packaging Waste 4 years Based on The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997
WEEE Transfer or Disposal + 4 years Based upon the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006, any documents recording the volume of WEEE should be kept for 4 years
Other Waste Superseded + 30 years Based on various statutory obligations, including those within the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 201
Hazardous Waste Register Indefinite Based on The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 PART 7, s. 51

Citations

Environment Act 1995 Part IIA Contaminated Land 78P (13) Recovery of, and security for, the cost of remediation by the enforcing authority ““the specified period” means such period of thirty years or less from the date of service of the charging notice as is specified in the order”

The Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008 s. 10 (1) Keeping plans, “10.—(1) The principal contractor must keep the site waste management plan for two years after the completion of the project at the principal contractor’s principal place of business or at the site of the project.”

The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 PART 7, s 47 Site records, Records of tipped (discharged) hazardous waste “47. (c)retain the records— (i)for three years after deposit of the waste; or (ii)if he has a waste permit pursuant to which the site is operated, until that permit is surrendered or revoked.”

The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 PART 7, s 48 Site records, Records of disposal or recovery of hazardous waste by other means, “48. (6) (b)retain the records- (i)where the hazardous waste is fully recovered, or remains at a transfer station, as the case may be, until it leaves the site and for three years thereafter; or (ii)if he has a waste permit pursuant to which the site is operated, until that permit is surrendered or revoked.”

The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 PART 7, s 49 Site records, Producer and transport records, Producers’, holders’ and consignors’ records, “49. (3) The producer, holder or consignor, as the case may be, shall preserve the records to be made pursuant to this regulation whilst he remains the holder of the waste and for at least three years afterwards commencing on the date on which the waste is transferred to another person”

The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 PART 7, s. 50 Carrier’s records, “50. (2) The establishment or undertaking shall keep the records made pursuant to this regulation for at least twelve months commencing on the date of delivery of the waste to its destination.”

The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 PART 7, s. 51 Registers and records: common provisions, “51. (2) A person who is required to keep a register shall enter in the register each copy received by them of— (a)any consignment note (including multiple consignment notes and, where consignments are not accepted, the original note, a copy of any explanation of the reasons for rejection prepared pursuant to regulation 42 and the consignment note prepared pursuant to regulation 43 or 44); (b)any consignee’s return to the producer, holder or consignor received pursuant to regulation 54; and (c)any carrier’s schedule given to him pursuant to regulation 37. (3) A person who is required to keep a register or retain records until his waste permit is surrendered or revoked shall send those records or that register to the Agency when the permit is surrendered or revoked”

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 Schedule 2, 19 Amendments to the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, “Updates s. 49 above 19. (b) Any person required to keep a record by paragraph (1) must preserve it— (a)while the person is a holder of the waste or (if not a holder) has control of the waste; and (b)for 3 years after the date on which the waste is transferred to another person”

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 PART 9, s. 6 Transfer of waste, “(6) The transferor and the transferee must keep a transfer note, or a copy of it, for at least 2 years and produce it to an officer of the Environment Agency or of a waste collection authority on demand within 7 days”

The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 3 Duty to keep copies of written descriptions of waste and transfer notes, “3. The transferor and the transferee shall each keep the written description of the waste and the transfer note or copies thereof for a period of two years from the transfer of the controlled waste”

The Waste Management Licensing (England and Wales) (Amendment and Related Provisions) (No. 3) Regulations 2005 s. 9 (10) Records, “9. (10) Records kept under paragraph (8) shall be kept for a period of at least two years in such form as to show for each month the total quantity of waste disposed of or recovered at that place during that month, and during those two years shall be made available to the appropriate registration authority on request”

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 Part V, s. 22 Producers – records and returns, “22.—(1) A producer who is subject to the certifying obligation shall maintain, and retain for at least 4 years after the record is made, records of the information referred to in paragraph (2) below and shall, at the same time as he furnishes a certificate of compliance to the appropriate Agency in accordance with regulation 23, make a return to that Agency of that information. (2) The information is, in respect of the year 1998 and subsequent years— (a)the amount in tonnes, to the nearest tonne, of packaging waste provided to a reprocessor by or on behalf of the producer; (b)the amount in tonnes, to the nearest tonne, of each packaging material comprised in the packaging waste referred to in sub-paragraph (a) above, received by a reprocessor from the producer or a person acting on the producer’s behalf; and (c)the dates on which, and the name and address of the reprocessor to which, the packaging waste referred to in sub-paragraph (a) above, was so provided.”

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 Part 3, 13 Producer Obligations, “records of the amount in tonnes of all EEE…(2) The records referred to in this regulation shall be kept for a period of at least four years commencing on the date on which any such record is made and shall be made available to the appropriate authority on demand”

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