§ Lord Colwyn
asked Her Majesty's Government:
The Special Waste Regulations 1996 were laid before Parliament today and will come into force on 1st September 1996 and implement Council Directive No. 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste as amended by Council Directive 94/31/EC. These regulations replace the Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980.
The main provisions of the 1996 regulations are to:
- -introduce new criteria for determining whether or not waste is special;
- -require pre-notification of movements to the Environment Agency by consignment note;
- -provide better descriptions of wastes and their associated hazards by means of a revised design for the consignment note;
- -simplify arrangements for repetitive movements and collection rounds;
- -ban mixing by carriers and consignees of categories of special wastes, and of special with non-special wastes, unless for safe disposal;
- -require periodic inspections by regulators of special waste producers; and
- -introduce fees for many consignments of special wastes.
The new regulations contain a number of deregulatory initiatives, designed to make the system easier to operate while ensuring that special waste is soundly managed and safely reaches appropriate facilities. Provisions include specific criteria for determining whether or not waste is special, to keep to a minimum the number of wastes which will be subject to these regulations, consistent with the overall aim of securing adequate levels of environmental protection.
These regulations also introduce fees, in line with the "polluter pays" principle, to recover the costs incurred by the Environment Agencies for ensuring compliance with the regulations. A fee of £15 will be payable for most consignments. Consignments of automotive lead-acid batteries will attract a fee of £10 because they will be subject to lower levels of regulation.
Public consultation was carried out in March 1995 on the proposed regulations and accompanying guidance. The regulations have been modified to reflect the concerns and interests of industry, regulators and the public in response to those consultations. The Government are satisfied that these regulations will continue to ensure the environmentally sound management of special waste movements within Great Britain.