§ Lord Kimball
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are their plans for the implementation of the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Baroness Blatch)
We have today published a consultation paper which sets out the basis on which we propose to implement the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989. The consultation paper includes a draft of the regulations necessary to give effect to the registration of waste carriers and the procedure under which a waste regulation authority may seize a vehicle used for flytipping.
The registration of waste carriers is the first step in the implementation of the duty of care now contained in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The main features of the system of registration which we propose to adopt are:
- (a) Scope: The effect of the 1989 Act is to require anyone who transports waste in the course of a business, or in any other way for profit, to be registered. The proposed regulations will require each waste regulation authority to establish and maintain a register of carriers. Each carrier will be required to register with the authority for the area in which his principal place of business is situated. On acceptance, his registration will be valid throughout Great Britain;
- (b) Duration: Each carrier's registration will last for three years. He will be reminded by the regulation authority of the need to apply for renewal of his registration;
- (c) Refusal: A regulation authority will be able to refuse or revoke registration if the carrier or another relevant person has been convicted of a prescribed offence and, in the authority's opinion, it is undesirable for the carrier to be authorised to transport controlled waste. The draft regulations list the offences which we propose to prescribe. A carrier will have a right of appeal against an authority's refusal or revocation of his registration;
- (d) Exemptions: Certain types of carrier will be exempted from the requirement to register. For example, producers in relation to the transport of waste which they have produced;
- (e) Charges: Regulation authorities will be required to charge for their consideration of applications for registration and its renewal. The consultation paper invites comments on the level at which the charges should be set;
- (f) The register: The registers maintained by regulation authorities will contain each carrier's application and entries listing other relevant information. Registers will be open to inspection free of charge by members of the public and must be indexed to enable information to be readily traced;
- (g) Timetable: The 1989 Act and the proposed regulations will be brought into force in two stages. The first stage will come into force in May 1991 and will enable carriers to apply for registration. It is proposed that the second stage should come into force at the same time as the duty of care in April 1992. At that stage, it will become an offence to transport waste without registering and a carrier may be stopped and required to produce his certificate of registration.
The draft regulations also set out the procedure under which an authority will be able to apply for a warrant to seize a vehicle believed to have been used in the illegal disposal of waste. The purpose of this procedure is to aid the detection and prosecution of those involved in fly-tipping. It is not concerned with the punitive confiscation of vehicles. An authority will be required to return a vehicle to a claimant who satisfactorily establishes his entitlement to it. However, once the authority have established that person's entitlement, they will be considerably better placed to ascertain the identity of the person using the vehicle when the waste was disposed of illegally.
Comments on the draft regulations are invited by 28th February 1991. We are arranging for copies of the consultation paper to be placed in the Library of the House.