§ Sir Thomas Arnold
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to increase the powers available to Her Majesty's inspectors of pollution.
§ Mr. Trippier
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 strengthens the powers available to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution—HMIP—for controlling all major emissions to air, land and water from the processes with most potential to cause pollution; for policing the storage and disposal of radioactive substances and wastes; and for overseeing local authorities' performance of their waste regulation functions. Our White Paper on the environment, published in the summer, proposes that HMIP's powers could be further strengthened by making it a candidate to become a "next steps" agency. This would give them an enhanced status and a clearly separate identity, which should strengthen their authority in controlling pollution.