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Court reserves judgment in “end of waste” Judicial Review

The High Court (Sir Wyn Williams, sitting as a High Court Judge) has finished hearing a judicial review brought by Protreat Limited challenging the approach of the Environment Agency (“the Agency”) to determining whether waste mineral lubricating oil (“WLO”) for non-fuel uses has achieved “end of waste” status. 

The judicial review relates to a decision by the Agency’s Definition of Waste Panel to reject, as technically deficient, a submission made by the Oil Recycling Association in respect of the end of waste status of re-refined oil.

The grounds as pursued at the hearing included:

  1. The Agency’s decision of 19 December 2016 involved treating recyclers by re-refining of waste oil for non-fuel use less favourably than re-processors; and it involved giving less favourable treatment to other potential re-refiners than the existing waste oil re-refiners;

  2. In breach of TEU art 4(3) and TFEU 288, the Agency has failed to direct its resources and use its powers to seek to ensure the result required by the Waste Framework Directive (“WFD”) i.e. to ensure that waste oil treatments higher in the waste hierarchy are more attractive than treatments lower in the hierarchy; and 

  3. There is no evidence that the Agency was prepared to direct sufficient resources to the development and approval of a specification for the products of recycling by re-refining waste oils.

The case was heard over 3 days this week and judgment has been reserved.

James Maurici QC and Richard Moules appeared for the Agency.