§ Mr. Stevens
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the regulatory framework for introducing integrated pollution control and local authority air pollution control under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 will be completed.
§ Mr. Baldry
I am pleased to announce that my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment, for Wales and for Scotland have today laid before Parliament four statutory instruments relating to part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. These arethe Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991, which define the processes to be covered by local authority air pollution control and by integrated pollution control (IPC); the substances, the release of which to air, land and water are to be controlled; and the timetable for the implementation of part I of the 1990 Act;the Environmental Protection (Applications, Appeals and Registers) Regulations 1991, which deal with the procedures for making an application for an authorisation under part I of the 1990 Act; consultation with the public and statutory consultees; the appeals procedures; and public registers of information;the Disposal of Controlled Waste (Exceptions) Regulations 1991, which deal with the interface between the waste controls exercised currently under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the two new control regimes established under part I of the 1990 Act; andthe Environmental Protection (Authorisation of Processes) (Determination Periods) Order, which proves for an extension of the period allowed for the determination of an application for an authorisation under part I of the 1990 Act, where an application is made for information to be withheld from the public register on grounds of national security or commercial confidentiality; and, where an application is made for an existing plant which falls to local authority control, for a reduction of the period allowed for determining applications relating to certain small waste oil burners.
These statutory instruments provide the main regulatory basis for the introduction of integrated pollution control and local authority air pollution control on 1 April.
§ Mr. Favell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will make a statement on cost recovery charges for local authority air pollution control;
(2) whether he will make a statement on Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution cost recovery charges for integrated pollution control.298W
§ Mr. Trippier
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides for the introduction of charges to cover the costs of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (HM IP) and the National Rivers Authority (NRA) in regulating processes under integrated pollution control (IPC), and to cover the costs of local authorities in regulating processes for air pollution control.
With the agreement of the Treasury, the Secretary of State has now made schemes of charges for the two control systems which will both take effect from 1 April 1991. I will be placing copies of these in the Library.
Last July, the Department published a consultation document inviting comments on proposed charging schemes for IPC and local authority pollution control, both taking the form of an application fee payable when a process was submitted for authorisation, an annual subsistence charge payable for holding an authorisation, and a fee for consideration of substantial variation of an authorisation.
The Department has received some 79 responses on these proposals, a list of which has been placed in the Library. Copies of individual responses may be obtained through the Library.
In the case of processes subject to IPC, which vary substantially in size and complexity, it was proposed in the consultation document to relate IPC fees and charges to the number of specified "components" which the process comprised. Thus a small metal-plating plant might have one or two components, while an iron and steelworks might have 25 components or more, and pay correspondingly larger charges. Respondents generally agreed that the proposed structure of IPC charges and the component-based approach provided a satisfactory basis for relating charges to regulatory effort, without undue administrative complexity.
The scheme now made therefore operates on this basis. The application fee will be £1,800 per component, or £1,200 for a process already subject to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution air pollution control. The annual subsistence charge will be £500 per component. Where the process also involves discharge to controlled water and is thus subject to monitoring and oversight by the National Rivers Authority, the subsistence charge will include an element to meet these costs also. The substantial variation fee will be £600 per component.
Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution's forecast 1991–92 costs relating to IPC, to be recovered through the fees and charges, amount to some £5.9 million. Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution will closely monitor its expenditure and at the end of the financial year will publish detailed accounts and information on charging and regulatory costs.
The scheme for local authority air pollution control is broadly similar to that for IPC, except that the fees and charges are set per process, and components do not apply, since the processes coming under local authority control are less diverse in size and complexity. The application fee is £800, the annual subsistence charge £500, and the substantial variation fee £530. Reflecting a simplified authorisation procedure for small waste oil burners, the application fee for these is £100 and the annual subsistence charge £100. The Department intends to review the scheme later in the year, in consultation with interested parties.299W
The schemes take account of many useful comments received, and extensive discussion with industry and other interested parties, to ensure that detailed operation is straightforward and equitable.