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Opencast Mining

Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1975

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70.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what machinery exists to ensure that the environment is protected in the course of the proposed expansion of opencast coal production.

Both the National Coal Board and the Secretary of State are obliged by the Opencast Coal Act 1958 and the Countryside Act 1968 to have regard to the protection of the environment. Before a site can be authorised for working the proposals must be advertised and time given for objections. Where necessary a public inquiry is held. Conditions are always included in an authorisation for the purpose of minimising damage to the environment, and the Department of the Environment or the Scottish or Welsh Offices, as the case may be, are always consulted in drawing them up.