Clause 105 - Offences relating to pollution etc: penalties on conviction

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 1st February 2005.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Minister (Transport)

I want to query the basis for the change in this regard. When will the provisions of the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 come into effect in full? Are they in application now, or are they due to come into effect at a later date? We would prefer most of the provisions to have been agreed in the Bill rather than for regulations to be made ''under section 2''.

On the annotated version of the 1999 Act, the House of Lords Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation recorded its view. It said that

''the Committee would not wish this bill to be regarded as a precedent for the future. It remains important that the purposes and ambit of legislation, together with any important governing criteria, should be clearly specified within the primary legislation and not simply left to the exercise of delegated powers.''

How narrow will the regulations be drafted under subsection (1)? When will the provisions of the 1999 Act come into effect in full? Am I right in understanding that the maximum fine will be increased   from £20,000 to £50,000? Is that also admitting for a first offence, where it might be less? Will there be a scale? How does the Minister imagine subsection (1)(b) will be interpreted?

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The provisions are already in force; the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 have been agreed by the processes of the House.

I am not certain that I correctly understand the hon. Lady's point. The reference to regulations is a reference to the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 and makes it clear to which provisions the increase of penalties applies and does not apply. I think that that is straightforward, but if I have misunderstood and there is a more complicated technical point to which she seeks an answer, I will be happy to follow it up with her after the sitting.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 105 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 106 ordered to stand part of the Bill.