Officials are demanding the right to use James Bond-style tracking devices to catch criminals suspected of illegally dumping tyres and other rubbish.
Unknown to most of us, the Environmental Agency had been using the bugs for years to track down people dodging strict disposal rules when they get rid of material such as tyres, rubble and asbestos.
But their use was suspended recently after a warning by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners watchdog that their use was unlawful.
But now the Environment Agency officers wants the right to bug organised criminal gangs who con construction firms and others into paying to have their waste taken away only for it to be dumped in fields or warehouses.
The agency is so convinced it is a necessary step that it is threatening to go to court to have the issue resolved in a test case.
However, critics claim it is another infringement of civil liberties and that if the technology is given the go-ahead again it could also be used on softer targets.
The row is expected to run for many weeks, but etyres remains committed to its disposal of tyres in an environmentally friendly way.
We have a firm policy on the disposal of the scrap tyres but this has been reinforced by the introduction of a very strict audit of each of our approved scrap tyre collection contractors.
Oliver Hall, Operations Team