§ Lord Brougham and Vaux
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in implementing the system of local authority air pollution control introduced under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
§ Baroness Denton of Wakefield
By the end of March this year, some 13,000 applicants for authorisation had been received by local authorities, of which over 5,500 had been decided. Only 12 appeals were received by the Department of the Environment during the first two years of operation of the new air pollution controls.
We are pleased to announce that the evidence from the data that have been collected and from a review of 25 local authorities conducted by the Department of the Environment is that local authorities are getting on well with tackling their new responsibilities. Nonetheless, there remains a heavy workload to determine the outstanding applications and to ensure that the necessary improvements are made by operators of existing processes. It was notable from the review that all 25 authorities were sensitive to the challenges faced by industry in complying with their new obligations under the Act and regarded formal enforcement action as a last resort.
The Department of the Environment will shortly be meeting selected trade associations in order to obtain their view of progress in implementing the local authority air pollution controls.
I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of the statistical tables we have produced covering the period 1991–93, together with a copy of the report of the review of 25 local authorities.