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EU Law

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to implement (a) EC Regulation 166/2006, (b) EC Regulation 1882/2002, (c) Council Directive 96/61/EC, (d) EU Directive 2003/87/EC and (e) Commission Directive 2003/35. (203722)

The information requested is as follows.

(a) Steps taken to implement EC Regulation 166/2006

The EC regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) and amending Council directives 91/689/EEC and 96/61/EC was agreed on 18 January 2006 and came into force on 24 February 2006. PRTRs are publicly accessible compilations of data that describe the releases of substances to the environment and waste transfers. The E-PRTR regulation is a directly binding piece of European legislation and does therefore not need to be transposed into domestic law. In August 2007 DEFRA published a consultation document concerning among other issues proposals on designating competent authorities, enforcement, reporting requirements and quality assessment of the collected emissions data. We have recently published the Summary of Responses received during the consultation period.

(b) Steps taken to implement EC Regulation 1882/2002

This regulation is published and updated daily and contains, for information, the Standard Import Values for determining the entry prices, on import into the EU, for certain fruit and vegetables. These values are used for customs tariff purposes by HM Revenue and Customs and importers. The regulation does not require implementation.

(c) and (e) Steps taken to implement Council Directive 96/61/EC and Commission Directive 2003/35

The Council directive 96/61/EC on integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) was agreed on 24 September 1996 and came into force on 30 October 1996. The IPPC directive provided a transitional period from 30 October 1999 to 30 October 2007 during which existing installations could be brought under the requirements of the directive. New installations had to comply from the outset.

In England and Wales the IPPC directive was transposed through the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000. The PPC regulations were introduced under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999.

The parts of the Public Participation directive 2003/35/EC which amended the IPPC directive and came into force on 25 June 2003 were transposed in England and Wales on that date through the PPC regulations. This directive provides an increase in the already high level of public participation in the process by which regulators consider applications for environmental permits to operate new or substantially changed industrial installations subject to the IPPC directive.

From 6 April 2008 the PPC regulations have been superseded by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.

The IPPC directive and its subsequent amendments have since been codified and repealed by directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (codified version).

(d) Steps taken to implement EU Directive 2003/87/EC:

The EU emissions trading directive 2003/87/EC was agreed on 22 July 2003 and came into force on 25 October 2003. The directive has been transposed into UK legislation through the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme regulations.

On 24 May 2005 the UK published the approved National Allocation Plan (NAP) and installation-level allocations for Phase I of the EU ETS, which ran from 2005 to 2007. The approved NAP and final allocation decision for phase ii of the scheme, running from 2008 to 2012, were published on 16 March 2007.

On 23 January 2008, the European Commission published its draft proposals for the review of the EU ETS required under article 30 of the EU directive on the EU ETS. The role of the review is to develop the EU ETS in a positive way post-2012 and learn from experiences so far. The UK welcomed the European Commission's ambitious proposals for tackling climate change and delivering a low-carbon economy in Europe. The UK will now be entering into negotiations with other member states and the Commission and will also be releasing a formal consultation soon. Once agreed by the European Council and European Parliament, the changes will need to be transposed into UK law.