In the hopes of learning more about Environmental Legislation so I can help us avoid breaking the law I attended an IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) workshop in Birmingham today. Whilst I was hoping to learn more about some of the current legislation, it concentrated on recent changes and expected changes, including the CRCEE scheme, WEEE recycling regulations and changes to Environmental Permitting regulations. However, I found these sections a little lacking in information, other than pointing out that something had changed, and the relevant websites, it wasn’t overly helpful.
Part of the workshop was presented by a lawyer, these parts, which I initially thought would be a little irrelevant, I nevertheless found really interesting. In addition to including some examples of cases that had set some precedents, she went through what would happen if the Environment Agency came calling, and, what your legal rights are. The basic message was, don’t sign anything, even a seemingly informal statement (this then makes it a formal statement), without legal advice. If you are questioned under caution (and this is apparently voluntary) make sure you are prepared, have a lawyer with you and state that you are representing the Company (and ensure you have the authority to represent the Company – if not, you shouldn’t be there). I think there were probably only a couple of people in the room who had been in such a position, so I am sure lots of us found this useful.
The venue was good and did provide some sufficient space for networking opportunities. I met someone from a large engine manufacturer who had lots of experience in Environmental Management and who seems to be further along with energy management. He has promised some information by email, so it seems I may have benefited from the day in numerous ways.