§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the current statutory regulations used by Her Majesty's inspectorate of Pollution in respect of waste or sewage incinerators both individually and severally; and what are the comparable standards adopted by France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively.153W
§ Mr. Maclean
Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (HMIP) controls those processes involving the incineration of waste or sewage sludge which are described in "The Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991 (SI 472) and The Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) (Amendment) Regulations 1991 (SI 614) issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. These require each process to be individually authorised and for the best available technologies not entailing excessive cost to be used by the operator to prevent or reduce emissions from the process.
To provide guidance on the standards to be applied, Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution issues guidance notes to its inspectors relating to the processes it controls. These provide a sound framework within which Inspectors can assess applications for the authorisation of new processes and existing processes. The notes are also publicly available for the benefit of operators and other interested parties.
I recently announced (Official Report, 21 May, column 197), the publication of those notes relating to processes in the waste disposal and recycling sector which includes these three incineration processes.
I will write to the hon. Member about the question of how the standards applied in England and Wales compare with those of the four countries cited.