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Metals: Recycling

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will defer making regulations to implement the review of waste exemptions from environmental permitting until planning guidance relating to the metals recycling sector has been put in place. (291498)

We will not defer making regulations to implement the review of waste exemptions from environmental permitting. We propose to lay regulations to come into force in April 2010 that will provide new and amended waste exemptions from the need for an environmental permit for a range of waste operations that pose a low environmental risk. Exemptions provide 'lighter touch' regulation and will encourage more businesses to take up waste recycling and recovery. At the same time, we will limit the extent of the exemptions for some higher risk waste operations that will in the future be subject to increased controls through an environmental permit.

The Government response to the consultation on the review of waste exemptions from environmental permitting, published on 11 September 2009, provides a commitment to work with industry and others to identify the scale of the potential impact on the metal recycling sector and we will take forward a range of measures to assist legitimate operators to establish their planning status for the purposes of obtaining an environmental permit. We are also proposing a three and a half year transitional period for existing metal recycling operators to obtain a permit where they will no longer benefit from an exemption.