HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 cc637-8W
Mr. St.Aubyn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) when his Department intends to require incinerator plant permit holders(a) under the IPC regime and (b) under the IPPC regime to adopt the environmental standards being proposed by the EU; [160111]

(2) what guidance his Department will issue to (a) planning authorities and (b) the Environment Agency on the latest EU proposals for environmental regulation of incinerator plants in respect of current projects; [160108]

(3) what his Department's policy is relating to the latest proposals for environmental regulation of incinerator plants. [160109]

Mr. Hill

The UK Government are committed to transposing the EU Waste Incineration Directive (WID) and the provisions therein, into UK law by 28 December 2002.

The new WID will apply to all new incinerators within its scope by 28 December 2002, and to existing plant by 28 December 2005. Incinerators are currently regulated under the Integrated Pollution Control or Local Authority Pollution Control systems.

This directive updates the two Municipal Waste Incineration Directives of 1989. The Environment Agency is of the opinion that all new Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator (MSWI) projects can already meet the requirements of the new Directive without excessive cost and therefore will apply these standards as a "minimum" requirement. The Agency intends to review the performance of existing plant before the Directive applies.

In addition, the Agency has already been setting limits for oxides of nitrogen and for dioxins for MSWIs. Most existing MSWIs already achieve dioxin release concentrations of 0.1 ng/m3 and collectively the sector has shown almost a 30 fold fall with a share of UK emissions down from over 50 per cent. to under 5 per cent. since 1995.

In transposing the WID into UK law the Government will consider whether further guidance for planning authorities and the Environment Agency is necessary. Planning guidance on incineration is contained within PPG 10 "Planning and Waste Management", which as with all planning guidance documents is periodically reviewed.

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