HC Deb 23 November 1988 vol 142 c4W
Mr. Robert G. Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the additional consultation paper on waste disposal law amendments as announced on 29 June.Official Report, column 254.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

I have today placed in the Library of the House a copy of the follow-up consultation paper which contains proposals from the Department and the Welsh Office to complement and strengthen those already announced on 29 June.

First, we propose to take powers to control imports and exports of waste. It remains our view that international trade in waste disposal services can be economically and environmentally desirable, provided that it is properly controlled and monitored. To ensure that this is so, we propose to take direct powers in primary legislation to prohibit, restrict or control the import or export of wastes. The powers, which would be exercised by regulations, would be desirable for example if trade in particular wastes were to risk damage to humans, animals, plants or the environment generally, were to affect the availability of disposal facilities or were to lead to improper disposal. Existing powers are contained in a range of primary legislation and regulations which the Government believe could usefully be clarified.

We propose to make certain additional changes to the provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, so that the Secretary of State might add, through regulations, criteria which are relevant to the consideration of a licence application; so that an application may be considered if the applicant has obtained an established use certificate; and so that the Secretary of State might, through regulation, require licences to carry specified conditions.

We propose also to reduce the uncertainty at law about responsibility for the safety of closed landfill sites by giving clear responsibility for record keeping and monitoring of closed landfills to waste disposal authorities, where the expertise on waste disposal lies.

We propose to close the loophole under which scavenging at private sector sites is not an offence.

Finally, we propose additional measures to combat the growing problem of fly-tipping. We propose to make the registered keeper of a vehicle used in fly-tipping liable to prosecution unless he can demonstrate that he has taken reasonable steps to satisfy himself that the vehicle would not be used for such purposes.