Environmental Protection

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what financial and practical assistance her Department has given environmental health officers since the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Regime came into force; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Environment and Agri-Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Department has provided local authorities with a range of resources to help them carry out their functions under the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations 2000. Financial

Local authorities recover costs from fees and charges at levels set by the Department. These levels are revised in consultation with all stakeholders annually. As 2003 was the first year of the new PPC regime no figures are available for total costs recovered by local authorities for their PPC function, but total local authorities income for all industrial air pollution functions in 2002–03 was 8.3 million.

Guidance

In March 2003 the Department published a guidance manual, specifically for local authorities, which sets out the policy and procedures necessary to determine an application for a PPC permit. Additional guidance notes have been developed on particular issues as a response to requests for further information by local authorities. The Department has issued technical guidance tailored to individual sectors covered by PPC and regulated by local authorities. Six such notes have been issued to date with a further two to follow. These sector guidance notes provide local authorities with a basis upon which to determine what would constitute the "Best Available Techniques" (BAT) for an installation in that sector. Production of further advice and guidance will be guided by the results of research commissioned recently by the Department into local authority functions with respect to industrial pollution control. Support

Four regional training workshops were held in early 2003 before the start of the local authority IPPC regime, these events catered for over 300 local authorities across England and Wales. Local authorities are encouraged to call upon on-going support from officials within the Department, for advice on policy matters, and the Environment Agency's Local Authority Unit on technical matters. The Department has promoted a network of local authorities, each experienced regulators of a particular industrial sector, to act as "centres of expertise" in order to provide additional advice to local authorities.

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