§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the main policy objectives of his Department in the field of environmental protection in 1985.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
Our major objectives will be to maintain and improve environmental quality in the United Kingdom and, through active involvement in the relevant international bodies, to contribute to its maintenance and improvement in Europe and worldwide; and to seek scientifically based and cost-effective solutions to environmental problems. More particularly:
- —to work towards further improvements in the control of atmospheric pollution, including the reduction of acidifying emissions;
- —to secure a sustained improvement in river quality;
- —to establish and implement a long-term improvement programme for estuarial and costal waters (including bathing waters);
- —to ensure that the arrangements made for the storage and/or disposal of wastes, in particular radioactive and hazardous wastes, are satisfactory from a safety and environmental standpoint;
- —to promote economy and efficiency in handling of wastes by local authorities, and to encourage recycling of wastes where appropriate;
- —to ensure that progress is maintained in reducing levels of lead in the environment;
- —to ensure that the practical management of the environment is supported by vigorous and relevant programme of research; and
- —to promote greater provision, accessibility and understanding of data and other information about environmental protection matters.