HC Deb 26 November 1993 vol 233 cc253-4W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he has that the principle of best available techniques not entailing excessive cost is not causing excessive costs to British industry where it is applicable.

Mr. Yeo

The BATNEEC principle—best available techniques not entailing excessive cost—is designed to ensure that the environment is adequately protected from potential pollution, while not placing an unacceptable burden on industry. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the chief inspector of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution—HMIP—issue guidance respectively on BATNEEC for different sectors coming under local authority air pollution control—LAAPC—and integrated pollution control—IPC—and consult widely with industry and other interested parties in doing so. Furthermore, an operator is able to appeal against the conditions of an IPC or LAAPC authorisation if he feels BATNEEC has not been properly applied.

Although it is not possible at this stage in the progressive implementation of part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to determine the final costs to industry of meeting the requirements, I have no reason to believe that this will be disproportionate. I attach considerable importance to ensuring that unnecessary burdens are not imposed on industry and both IPC and LAAPC have been reviewed as part of the Government's deregulation initiative.

On 10 June, I held a seminar with representatives from industry at which we discussed the implementation of IPC and my officials have this month held a similar meeting on LAAPC.