HC Deb 16 January 2001 vol 361 cc186-7W
Mr. St. Aubyn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he will take to ensure that, in the design and planning of waste incinerators proposed for Guildford, Capel and Redhill, account will be taken of the need(a) to ensure the health and safety of those at risk and (b) to quantify the degree of risk in each case by a properly conducted risk analysis; and if he will publish in full such analyses by dates announced in advance. [143394]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 19 December 2000]: The risks and effects of new incineration plants are considered under the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, as set out in the "Government Response to the 11th report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities—Waste Incineration".

In addition, all such new incinerators require a permit from the Environment Agency under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 or Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 before they can operate. As part of the permit application, the Agency would normally require an environmental and health impact assessment that identified and quantified the emissions and exposure pathways. The assessment would be expected to compare the modelled emissions data to nationally and internationally recognised standards set by independent bodies such as the World Health Organisation or the Government's Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards.

All environmental and health impact assessments are closely scrutinised by the Agency and comments are sought from statutory consultees such as the local health authority. If the permit application demonstrated that there would be unacceptable risks to the environment or to human health as a result of releases, it would not be approved. All permit applications are placed on a public register except for any information determined to be commercially confidential. In addition, for all application decisions under the 1999 Act and for all incinerator

Company Gross proceeds £ million cash Number of staff employed
Scotland Track Renewals Co. Ltd. 10.7 284
Scotland Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 27.5 2,491
Central Track Renewals Co. Ltd. 2.9 635
Western Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 15.0 2,409
Eastern Track Renewals Co. Ltd. 11.0 600
Eastern Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 29.7 2,162
South East Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 20.3 3,548
Southern Track Renewals Co. Ltd.
South West Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 11.0 2,190
Central Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 18.8 3,826
Northern Infrastructure Maintenance Co. Ltd. 9.0 3,131
Northern Track Renewals Co. Ltd. 4.6 516
Western Track Renewals Co. Ltd. 8.5 437
Total 169.0 22,229

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