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Pollution Control

Volume 171: debated on Friday 27 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his plans for introducing integrated pollution control under part I of the Environmental Bill.

On the assumption that the Environmental Protection Bill is given Royal Assent later this year, my right hon. Friend intends to introduce the new system of integrated pollution control (IPC) in England and Wales on 2 January 1991. All new processes prescribed for IPC, and all existing processes which are to be substantially altered, will be required to apply for an authorisation under part I of the Bill from that date. Existing processes other than those which are substantially altered will be brought sector by sector into the IPC system by means of a phased programme. The first sector, combustion processes, which will include the most significant plant covered by the large combustion plants directive, will be required to seek an authorisation from 2 January 1991.I am today placing in the Library copies of the proposed programme for introducing IPC, which also gives details of our proposed timetable for the various preparatory stages of introducing the system, including the issue of the necessary regulations for public consultation and the drafting of the guidance for industry and others.The guidance will include a general description of the new system. I am also today placing in the Library the draft of the section of that guidance setting out the Government's general interpretation of the concept of `best available techniques not entailing excessive cost' (BATNEEC) that is applied under part I of the Bill so that the release of certain substances into the environment is prevented or minimised and that substances released from prescribed processes are rendered harmless.