HL Deb 02 April 1998 vol 588 cc69-70WA
Baroness Young of Old Scone

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to amend the Special Waste Regulations 1996. [HL1383]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman)

The Special Waste Regulations, which came into force on 1 September 1996, implement the EC Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC), which covers the most difficult and dangerous wastes. The regulations provide for movements of hazardous ("special") waste to be pre-notified to the Environment Agencies and to be tracked through a system of consignment notes.

With some 18 months having elapsed since these regulations came into force, it is clear that some fine-tuning is desirable, in the light of operational experience by the Environment Agencies and of representations from industry. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, the Scottish Office and the Welsh Office have therefore today issued a public consultation paper proposing a number of changes to the regulations. These include certain relaxations to the procedures under which multiple loads can be moved for a single fee, designed to assist small businesses, including those involved in recycling lead acid batteries; minor changes to the format of the consignment note to assist monitoring and enforcement; and technical changes to ensure that island communities are not penalised by the fees system.

We are also proposing a small number of adjustments to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 (SI 1994/1056, as amended) aimed at encouraging the recovery/recycling of waste, particularly waste affected by the revised definition of "Special waste" contained in the 1996 Special Waste Regulations.

I have placed copies of the consultation paper and associated draft regulatory appraisal in the Libraries of both Houses.