Draft statutory guidance on the new regime for clearing up contaminated land and bringing it into productive use is being published, for consultation today. The new contaminated land regime will form an important part of the armoury of powers available to local authorities and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to protect and improve the condition of our environment. It will give them clear duties to find problem sites and bring about their remediation.
We have inherited a great deal of land polluted by industry in times when the impact of our actions on the environment was given insufficient consideration. We now have to clean up the consequences. The approach set out in the new regime, and in particular in the draft guidance, provides the best way of doing this. It focuses on the priorities, and makes sure that the inevitable cost burdens fall as fairly as possible. We intend to implement the new regime with effect from April 2000.