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Pollution

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans she has to incorporate annual emissions of pollutants from (a) local authority integrated pollution prevention and control sites (Part A(2) sites) and (b) local air pollution prevention and control (Part B sites) into the Environment Agency's pollution inventory; [110380](2) if she will make a statement on plans for incorporating annual emissions of pollutants from

(a) local authority integrated pollution prevention and control sites (Part A(2) sites) and (b) local air pollution prevention and control sites (Part B sites) into the Environment Agency's pollution inventory. [111104]

The pollution inventory contains information about emissions to air, land and water from various industrial installations, including all processes subject to integrated pollution control (IPC). Operators have to report annually from a list of 150 substances where they exceed the reporting thresholds.As part of the development of the pollution inventory, the Environment Agency has been preparing for the implementation (in June 2003) of the integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) European pollutant emission register (EPER). This requires European Union member countries to report on 50 pollutants released to air and water from all IPPC sites every three years, whether or not they are yet permitted under IPPC.

Under EPER, local authorities are required to collect emission data from the Part A(2) sites that they regulate under IPPC and this data are being incorporated into the UK report to the European Commission.

The Department commissioned consultants in 1999 to investigate the feasibility of establishing a pollution inventory for processes under the then local air pollution control (LAPC) regime. The report was issued for comment to some 200 organisations on 18 January 2001 and received seven responses. The report reviewed a range of options and recommended that inventory data for air emissions should be collected only for those substances covered by the national air quality strategy together with a list of 15 additional substances.

Those LAPC processes with the greater potential for pollution are now being transferred to Part A(2) and are subject to the EPER. Of the remainder, local authorities already need to collect Part B emissions data for the purposes of local air quality management review and assessment, and the national atmospheric emissions inventory includes data about all significant sources of man-made emissions, including those emitted from Part B installations. In view of this, and the likelihood that relatively few Part B installations not transferred to A(2) will emit substances above the reporting threshold levels set in the Environment Agency's pollution inventory, the Department has not considered it a priority to extend the inventory to Part Bs. However, this is being kept under review, in consultation with the Environment Agency.