§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to provide exemptions from waste management licensing for the recovery of scrap metal; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
On 8 November I published a consultation paper setting out our proposals for exemptions from waste management licensing under part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for the recovery of scrap metal and the dismantling of waste motor vehicles. The consultation paper invited comments by 5 December and proposed that waste management licensing should apply to these activities from 1 January 1995.
It is clear from the responses I have received that the period of transition to the new system is a matter of concern to both the industry and waste regulation authorities. There are two main reasons for this concern. The first arises from section 77(2) of the 1990 Act. Under the terms of this provision, licences issued under part 11 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, which are in force when the new system is implemented, will be treated as site licences under part II of the 1990 Act. The second is the need for the industry and waste regulation authorities to have time to consider any regulations which are laid before Parliament, and the related statutory guidance on licensing, before the new system comes into force.
I recognise the importance of both these issues to the industry and waste regulation authorities. I have decided, therefore, that waste management licensing under part. II of the 1990 Act should apply to the recovery of scrap metal and the dismantling of waste motor vehicles from 1 April 1995. I have made the necessary amendment to the commencement order to give effect to this decision.
I will now conclude my consideration of the responses to the consultation paper with the aim of laying the regulations providing any exemptions, and publishing the related statutory guidance on licensing, as early as possible in the new year.