HC Deb 23 May 1991 vol 191 cc547-8W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to require compulsory insurance against pollution leaks and contamination from landfills.

Mr. Baldry

Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, when it comes into force, will include a number of measures to ensure that pollution from landfills is prevented, or, if it occurs, that remedial action is taken. Under the Act, local authorities will impose pollution control conditions on licensees, who will be obliged to remedy any pollution from the site at their own expense. These conditions will remain binding even after closure for as long as the authority is not satisfied that the site is safe, and the licensee will not be permitted to surrender or transfer the licence without the consent of the authority.

As part of their vetting of licence applicants, authorities will be able to refuse an applicant who has not made or is in no position to make adequate financial provision to discharge the provisions of the licence. The form this financial provision should take will be the subject of guidance from the Secretary of State. A working group including representatives of industry and local authorities is examining the subject of long-term financial provision, including insurance, for waste sites and is expected to report this summer.