HL Deb 02 March 1993 vol 543 c36WA
Lord Vinson

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking to ensure that the enforcement of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 by HM Inspectorate of Pollution is not resulting in increased pollution, by forcing companies to use unregulated old plant, rather than bringing new plant into operation, due to an excessively demanding interpretation of the Act.

Lord Strathclyde: Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which introduces a system of Integrated Pollution Control (IPC), is being phased in over a five year period which began on 1st April 1991. This new pollution control regime replaces the current system of regulation, which operates under The Alkali etc. Works Regulation Act 1906 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. IPC applies equally to new and existing plant where the process is prescribed for regulation.

All IPC authorisations require the operator to use the Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEEC) to prevent or minimise and render harmless, the release of prescribed substances to any environmental medium. Use of BATNEEC therefore will favour modern clean technology over "end-of-pipe" solutions.

Introduction of IPC to a major part of the chemical industry in May, together with those industries already falling within the scope of the EPA, means that any potential problem will have largely disappeared.