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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:17 pm on 12th March 2020.

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Ian Hepburn:

It is not something I have looked at in depth, but certainly there seems to be concern—this is from other organisations that support and work with Greener UK—that there is a large number of substances out there that will be risky as far as human health is concerned, let alone the health of the environment. That will need to be regulated. I do not see within the Bill that there is necessarily the right framework to do that monitoring.

It is also probably worth touching on the fact that if one puts that responsibility on the Environment Agency, which has had fairly significant depletion of its resources, it may be that there is no capacity, even if you include that responsibility in the Bill, to get that monitoring done. I think that is something that we need to bear in mind when developing something that will help us watch these novel substances, both alone and in how they operate together in the environment, because they do pose risks.