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Environmental Liability Directive

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the scope of the Environmental Liability Directive, without extension of its scope in implementing legislation, is (a) wider and (b) narrower than the (i) Environmental Protection Act 1990: Part I Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (England and Wales) 2000 and Environmental Protection Act 1990: Part II, (ii) Water Resources Act 1991, (iii) Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and (iv) Environmental Protection Act 1990: Part IIA. (74281)

[holding answer 5 June 2006]: The question is a difficult one to respond to meaningfully. The referenced domestic legislation and the ELD are not directly or entirely comparable. The ELD, unlike the Pollution Prevention and Control or Waste legislation, is not a regulatory regime—there are no initial compliance costs; it imposes costs only when a business causes significant environmental damage. The legislation dealing with EU and domestic biodiversity provides a much more limited framework for liability for remediation than the ELD. The contaminated land (part IIA, Environmental Protection Act 1990) regime has some overlapping features with the ELD and can deal with current damage, but it is largely concerned with historic damage, which is outside the scope of the ELD.