§ Mr. Steinberg
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made to compile a central index of toxic sites; and when he expects such an index to be available.
§ Mr. Baldry
The question of compilation of a national list of seriously contaminated and polluting sites was considered in the Government's response to the Select Committee on the Environment's first report on contaminated land. We concluded that this was not a practical possibility. However, we have taken powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to require local authorities to set up public registers of all land in their areas which, because of past or present uses, may be contaminated.
We will consult widely on the scope of these registers and the methods to be used in compiling them. Depending on the outcome of consultations, we hope that authorities will be able to proceed with compilation of registers during 1992–93.