"Racing for the Fee"-Legal Aspects of Hazardous Substances Fees in Bye-Laws of Town Associations
"Hazardous Substances" Vol.14
Three Town Associations have promulgated bye-laws empowering them to enter premises on which hazardous substances are stored and inspect them, and fixing a fee for the performance of this service. A basic feature of an environmental policy is a division of powers and responsibilities between national and local Authorities. In many countries the control of hazardous substances is managed by the central government Authorities. Uncertainty makes decision making in regard to hazardous substances difficult: There are many approaches to quantifying risks as well as a wide range of technological solutions to deal with these risks that have different costs. Decisions as to acceptable risk levels are also a matter of balancing conflicting interests, values and constitutional rights. This inherent uncertainty requires that a national Authority will set uniform standards to guide local Authorities. These bye-laws impose duties to disclose information that is being disclosed to a Local Business' Licensing Authority by reason of other legislation who is also authorized to supervise hazardous substances. Lack of coordination between Authorities cannot properly justify multiple, parallel duties and costs.