asked Her Majesty's Government:What procedures apply for the authorising of marine dredging. [HL2205]
We have today announced the introduction of new non-statutory procedures for authorising marine dredging. They are intended to address concerns raised previously by the Crown Estate, environmental organisations and the dredging industry about the present arrangements, and are intended as an interim arrangement until such time as statutory procedures can be introduced. The interim procedures, copies of which have been placed in the House Library, will apply in England and Wales and have been developed following extensive consultation with government departments, the Crown Estate, the dredging industry and environmental organisations. We hope that they will lead to more open and quicker consideration of applications for dredging licences, whilst still enabling full public consultation and protection of the environment.We also announced that the Government intend to introduce statutory procedures for authorising the extraction of minerals by marine dredging by March 1999. These will implement the requirements of EEC Directive 85/337/EEC (as amended by EEC Directive 11/97/EEC) on Environmental Impact Assessment in so far as it applies to the extraction of minerals by marine dredging. There will be appropriate consultation on the provisions.