HC Deb 20 December 1995 vol 268 cc1243-4W
Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress he has made on the revision of waste regulations. [7807]

Mr. Clappison

My Department is currently working on a number of measures in the waste management field, which are at various stages of development. We have been concerned about the implications of implementing these proposals for local waste regulation authorities, including those affected by local government reorganisation, and for the new environment agencies which take over the waste regulation function on 1 April.

In order to avoid overloading regulators with change during this busy transitional period, and to help to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities, we envisage a progressive timetable for these new measures. Against this background, the Government have also decided to provide a further extension to 30 September of the transitional arrangements for trade effluent treatment plants, further to the extension introduced last August which expires on 1 April. The proposals are as follows:

Proposed new Special Waste Regulations, published for consultation last March, are intended to be made and laid before Parliament by 1 April, which will come into force in the summer.Regulations to extend until 30 September current transitional arrangements for effluent treatment plant which will be made in the New Year, which will come into force before 1 April. Proposed changes to requirements concerning technical competence may also be included, subject to consultation.Measures to extend and amend waste management licensing exemptions for composting, and sewage/water treatment plant and possibly other activities will be proposed in the Spring, with a view to their coming into operation by 1 October.Measures to extend waste management controls to certain types of agricultural and mining and quarrying waste; and provisions about consulting and compensating those with rights in land adjoining waste facilities, will also be proposed later in the year, with a view to these taking effect by the end of the year.