§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
We have received responses from 91 organisations and individuals. A list of these has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Respondents gave a broad welcome to our proposals. In particular, there was a widespread acceptance of the idea that processes subject to control should be operated according to the best available technology not entailing excessive cost; and of our proposal that the new system should adopt a consent-based approach for authorising discharges, but with a residual duty remaining with the operator to carry out all other functions not specified in the consent in accordance with best practice.
A clear majority of respondents to the Department's separate consultation document on the inputs of dangerous substances to water also agreed with our proposal that the responsibility for authorising the discharge of substances from prescribed processes to water should rest with Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution acting in consultation with the proposed National Rivers Authority. The Department therefore proposes to proceed on this basis. We shall make a further announcement about the results of this consultation exercise shortly.
Our proposals, which will mark a significant advance in industrial pollution control in this country, have been welcomed in this way, and will be introduced into legislation at the earliest opportunity.