§ Lord Westbury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make a statement about the implementation of the remaining provisions of Part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
§ The Earl of Avon
Yes. My right honourable friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment, Scotland and Wales have decided to proceed with a programme of implementation of the remaining provisions of Part II (except for Sections 52 and 53) starting in July.
Before reaching this decision my right honourable friends have given full consideration to the balance between the benefits of extending and strengthening the controls over water pollution and the need to avoid increased water charges or unnecessary expenditure by water authorities and by industry generally. For this reason and bearing in mind that the structure of the Act itself requires that implementation should be phased, we have concluded that Part II should be implemented over a period of four years, with the main provisions taking effect in the earlier part of the programme.
It is our intention, therefore, that the most important of the new powers of pollution control will be available to water authorities by July 1984 thus enabling them to act where necessary in those areas and over those categories of discharge not yet subject to control and, on a more long-term basis, to plan for the further improvement of water quality in accordance with agreed environmental quality objectives and in the light of the best use of financial resources.
Consultation with the water industry and other interested bodies, including industry, will now take place to consider the subordinate legislation required and, in particular, the detailed arrangements for the operation of public registers. While it is our aim that the implementation programme should be virtually complete by July 1986 there needs to be some flexibility in the phasing of certain provisions to allow for any difficulties which may emerge in the course of the consultation procedure.