Last reviewed 31 May 2021

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has returned the Environment Bill to Parliament for the Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons.

The Environment Bill, which contains measures to maintain and improve environmental standards, was making strong progress through Parliament until it was delayed in January due to Covid-19. The Bill deals with issues such as environmental standards, air quality, and the creation of a new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) to replace the EU’s regulatory regime. It returns to Parliament with a number of proposed amendments.

Dame Glenys Stacey has been appointed as Chair of the OEP, which will be created to hold the Government and public bodies to account for their environmental credentials. From July, it will be set up in an interim, non-statutory form, providing independent oversight of the Government’s environmental progress and accelerating the foundation of the full body. The OEP will formally commence its statutory functions after the Bill receives Royal Assent.