HC Deb 17 October 1995 vol 264 c185W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his departmental ruling on the applicability of the waste management licensing regulations as applied to liquid effluent treatment plants. [36776]

Mr. Clappison

On 1 May 1994, the Government brought into force a new waste management licensing system under part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. On 25 July 1995, I announced that we had decided to extend from 31 July 1995 to 31 March 1996 the transitional arrangements made for the introduction of certain requirements of the new system. The Waste Management Licensing (Amendment No.2) Regulations 1995 give effect to this decision.

Whether or not the operation of a liquid effluent treatment plant needs a licence must be determined on the facts of the case. The effect of the 1995 regulations is that, where a licence is necessary, operators of treatment plant will have until 31 March 1996 to apply for a licence.

In the meantime, we are considering whether a case may be made for the exemption of some treatment plant from licensing. In doing so, it is necessary to have regard to the terms of article 11 of the amended EC framework directive on waste and the need to ensure that waste is treated without causing environmental pollution or harm to human health.