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Enforcement officers will be able to seize vehicles suspected of being involved in fly-tipping from the 6 April, thanks to enhanced powers to crack down on waste crime, the resource management minister Dan Rogerson has announced.
The new legislation, will make it easier for local authorities, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales to stop, search and seize vehicles suspected of being involved in waste crime.
In addition, the range of offences for which a vehicle can be seized will be widened to include breaches of the waste duty of care, operation of an illegal waste site and carrying controlled waste while unauthorised to do so.
In 2013/14, local authorities dealt with 852,000 incidents of fly-tipping, costing an estimated £45.2 million in clearance costs. But incidents of tipping on farmland have largely gone unrecorded in the official figures – and clean-up costs fall on farmers.
The vehicle seizing powers could be in place by early April, the minister said.
The NFU broadly welcomed the measures and submitted a response to the Defra consultation. We said then: “The changes suggested should have a positive impact of the incidence of fly-tipping and hopefully act as a deterrent to those who commit such crimes.
"As fly-tipping is an issue which impacts many of our members any deterrent would be welcomed.
“However we need to ensure that these changes do not inadvertently impact members. Farmers who are unaware of their Duty of Care waste carrier responsibilities could get caught by the above enforcements. If these changes did come into force then they would need to be clearly communicated and pragmatically enforced.”
Mr Rogerson said: “Fly-tipping blights communities and poses a risk to human health, which is why we are supporting the seizure of vehicles suspected of involvement in this pernicious crime. The removal of their means to dispose of waste illegally will act as a greater deterrent to persistent offenders."