HC Deb 17 January 1979 vol 960 cc797-8W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will establish as a matter of urgency a register of chemical dumps in the United Kingdom, listing all known historic dumping areas of chemicals, and arrange for a survey of all such registered dumps to identify the constituents of each chemical compound in order to check on any possible dangers.

Mr. Denis Howell:

I do not think that the cost of the measures proposed would be justified by the comparatively small risks involved. The waste disposal authorities already have very full control over the disposal of chemical waste which may only be carried out at sites licensed for the purpose. Under the Deposit of Poisonous Waste Act 1972 the authorities have a duty to keep records of the deposit of dangerous waste. Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 they have a duty to maintain a register of all the licences they issue and powers to impose licence conditions which may include a requirement that the site operator keeps records of the precise location of specified wastes. They have also been able to deal with the problems which occasionally arise as a result of uncontrolled dumping in the past, by using powers in other legislation.