HC Deb 09 February 1984 vol 53 c786W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Wales in regard to the Government response to Cmnd. 8877 entitled "Coal and the Environment", if he will list those undertakings for which his Department is responsible which have already been fulfilled and dates for those which yet have to be undertaken.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

The Government's response to the report by the Commission on Energy and the Environment, "Coal and the Environment", was given in Cmnd. 8877. Action on the undertakings given in the relevant paragraphs of the White Paper, which fall in my sphere of responsibility, is as follows:

  1. 1. The review of the NCB 's rating formula forms part of the general revaluation of the non-domestic sector announced in Cmnd. 9008 "Rates". (Para. 29 refers.)
  2. 2. The Welsh water authority in conjunction with the NCB has been asked to provide information on the problems of water pollution from abandoned mines, the remedial actions that are available, and the costs involved. The information that has been received is being analysed. Once the process has been completed I shall consider whether further action is needed. The phased implementation of part 2 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 is proceeding in Wales. (Para.s 39, 40 refer.)
  3. 3. As a first step towards examining the problems of spoil disposal, consultants have been appointed to advise on the development of a framework for evaluating different spoil disposal options. They will report in 1985. An interdepartmental committee is reviewing the dual tendering procedures, which are designed to increase the use of colliery waste for road fill. The committee will report later this year. (Paras. 43, 45, 49, 54 refer.)
  4. 4. The NCB's rights under the general development order are being considered as part of a more general review of the GDO's mineral provisions which is currently under way. (Para. 55 refers.)
  5. 5. Responsibility for considering planning applications for NCB opencast mining will be taken by mineral planning authorities under transitional arrangements to be introduced later this year. Proposals to repeal the relevant provisions of the Opencast Coal Act 1958 are currently being prepared. (Paras. 71, 77 refer.)
  6. 6. The review of air pollution control legislation is still in its early stages and is awaiting resolution of a number of draft EC directives on the subject. (Para. 93 refers.)

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