§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement about the alternative methods and locations that he will introduce for the disposal of munitions;
(2) if he will list the regulations that control the dumping of munitions (a) on land and (b) in the sea; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
The Ministry of Defence does not deposit redundant munitions, explosive waste or residues in land. Land based disposal methods such as detonation and open burning are conducted in accordance with departmental regulations which reflect the requirement of both the Explosives Act 1875 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The provisions of the London dumping convention apply to the dumping of waste at sea world wide and those of the Oslo convention regulate this activity in the north east Atlantic. The Ministry of defence has undertaken its sea dumping programmes in a manner consistent with the requirements of both these conventions but has no further plans to dispose of redundant munitions or explosives in this way. In the future, such material will be disposed of on land at suitable MOD sites where this is safe and environmentally acceptable and under contract by industry. The Ministry of Defence plans, also, to construct a purpose-built ammunition disposal facility.