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Toxic Waste (Wath Upon Dearne)

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will immediately notify the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America of the necessity for the toxic waste sent to the United Kingdom by or the behalf of the FMC Company of the United States of America to be returned from Wath upon Dearne, Rotherham, to that company; and whether this action would be in accordance with the current and binding international agreement.

The Environmental Protection Agency is already aware of our view that the waste at Wath upon Dearne should be returned to the United States of America and are currently considering the scope for action under American legislation. There is no binding international agreement. Although the Basel convention could cover the particular circumstances of this case, it is not yet in force.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether at any time his Department or any public agency has considered the possibility of the disposal in the United Kingdom of the toxic waste bulk at Wath upon Dearne, Rotherham.

As part of its contingency planning Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has considered possible treatment facilities for the material at Wath upon Dearne. It however remains our policy that this material should be returned to the United States of America.