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Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much has been levied in fines by the Health and Safety Executive against (a) companies, (b) local authorities and (c) individuals with regard to incidences of pollution broken down by the type of pollution incidence, (i) in total, (ii) in each region and (iii) per fine in each year since 1995; [99258](2) what assessment has been made or is planned of the effectiveness of fines levied by the Health and Safety Executive on polluters in preventing

(a) further incidences of pollution by the polluters and (b) incidences of pollution from others who have not previously polluted; what changes are planned; and if he will make a statement. [99259]

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not levy fines. When appropriate, HSE brings, or in Scotland recommends, prosecutions so that the courts may consider imposing fines following any conviction.Responsibility for regulating environmental pollution does not reside with HSE. The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and HSE have limited statutory responsibility in respect of the environment. Where they do have environmental involvement, HSE's activity is defined by the scope of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. These matters include legislation involving control of major accident hazards, licensing and decommissioning of nuclear reactors, carriage of dangerous goods, notification of new substances, biocidal products, non-agricultural pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).HSE does have an enforcement role in these areas, and the boundaries between its role and those of the Environment Agency (EA) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), are set out in Memoranda of Understanding. These can be viewed on the HSE's website at