Research Papers 2015

Synopsis: Below you will find a list of Environment Committee research papers published in 2015.

Scrap Metal Dealers Bill

- Date: 23/11/2015

This paper considers the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill as introduced to the Assembly. It provides the rationale for it, an overview of the provisions and highlights areas that may be of interest to Members for further consideration.

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River Pollution: Background and Summary of Potential Issues

- Date: 23/11/2015

This briefing paper provides background to the Committee’s River Pollution Review. As requested by the Committee, the paper outlines the different governmental responsibilities regarding water quality/river pollution; it aims to reflect on the impact that the Water Framework Directive (WFD) has had on water quality and pollution incidents; it also considers the implementation of the WFD, focusing on the key role that partnership has in the delivery of the measures through the draft River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). It provides examples of partnership approaches from other jurisdictions and, finally, discusses a number of potential points for further consideration.

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Japanese knotweed

- Date: 29/10/2015

This paper considers legislation in Northern Ireland (NI) across GB and the Republic of Ireland (ROI) surrounding Japanese Knotweed from two perspectives: as an invasive species and the control of it spreading to neighbouring properties. It also gives detail on a new EU Regulation on invasive alien species. In considering the legislative differences, the paper highlights the use of anti-social behaviour legislation in England to deal with problems concerning Japanese knotweed. It also explores the anti-social behaviour legislation in NI including legislation for statutory nuisance.

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Environmental Better Regulation Bill

- Date: 23/09/2015

This Bill paper gives a brief overview of the Environmental Better Regulation Bill as introduced to the Assembly on the 22 June 2015. It also gives a brief account of similar legislation in other jurisdictions, highlights areas of concern expressed during the consultation and makes suggestions of potential areas for further consideration.

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EU Initiatives Update

- Date: 19/02/2015

This briefing paper aims to highlight a number of European initiatives from the new 2015 Commission Work Programme that may be of interest to the Environment Committee. It also considers initiatives from the 2013 and 2014 programmes, giving an update where possible. It should be noted that this paper is indicative and in no way exhaustive, areas not identified can be fully explored at further request.

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Horizon 2020 Workshop

- Date: 28/01/2015

Horizon 2020 is the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The programme runs until 2020 with a budget of approximately €78 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 -2020). On the 20th November, the Department of the Environment hosted a free workshop aimed at a range of sectors: local and central government, research bodies, NGOs, not for profit organisations, the agri-food sector, business/industry, and in particular, the SME sector. This paper provides an overview of that event.

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EU Competitive funding

- Date: 28/01/2015

In response to a request from the Committee for the Environment (the Committee) this paper addresses competitive EU funding drawdown by the Department of the Environment (the Department. The paper draws on information provided by the Department to the Committee and gives a brief explanation of the funding identified by the Department and the role the Department takes in securing such funding. It also highlights some areas where the Committee may wish to seek further clarification from the Department.

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Young People’s Views on Planned Changes to Driving Licensing Laws in Northern Ireland

- Date: 16/01/2015

This paper presents the findings of research into young people’s views on planned changes to driving licensing laws in Northern Ireland. The research was conducted by the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Research and Information Service (RaISe) in November 2014. It was carried out on behalf of the Environment Committee in support of its scrutiny of proposed changes to the Road Traffic Bill.

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