HL Deb 04 November 2004 vol 666 cc42-3WA
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether in the light of the BBC's "Spotlight" programme on 19 October on illegal dumping of waste, including medical waste, they will clarify the criteria for the issue of licences for waste disposal in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Scotland. [HL4596]

Baroness Amos

In Northern Ireland the criteria for issuing licences for waste management activities such as waste transfer stations, amenity sites, recycling treatment facilities and bring banks are contained within the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.

Landfill sites and larger waste management facilities which result in the disposal of waste require pollution prevention and control (PPC) permits. The criteria for issuing such permits are contained within the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003. Guidance notes for specified waste streams are also available for applicants.

There is no legal definition of medical waste; reference is made to "clinical waste". Some clinical waste is also classified "special waste" and would be subject to control under the Special Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998. These apply over and above other waste management controls.

In Scotland the relevant legislation is the Waste Management Licensing Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003 and the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000.

The criteria for the issue of licences for waste disposal in Northern Ireland and Scotland are broadly similar.

Copies of the Northern Ireland legislation are available in the Library. However, extensive details of waste legislation, guidance notes and licensing advice for the UK as a whole can be found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/netregs/.

Lord Magginnis of Drumglass

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will liaise with the Irish Republic on cross-border abuse of waste transportation. [HL4597]

Baroness Amos

My honourable friend the Minister with responsibility for the Environment in Northern Ireland (Angela Smith), has already met her counterpart in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) to discuss this and other issues of mutual interest.

The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) of the Department of the Environment has good working relationships with the relevant regulatory bodies in the RoI. It continues to exchange information on waste management issues with district councils and the RoI's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Recently, two working groups were set up by the EPA, one on transfrontier shipment of waste and the other on unauthorised waste activities. EHS is a member of both groups.

The transfrontier shipment of waste working group focuses on strengthening the enforcement of the relevant regulations by local authorities. The unauthorised waste activities group will co-ordinate enforcement action to stem the cross-border movement of waste into Northern Ireland.