dangerous substances if new draft Regulations come into force,
environment minister Michael Meacher said yesterday as a three-month
consultation was launched.
Scotland, are designed to implement the 'polluter pays' principle.
Commenting on the proposal, Michael Meacher said:
'Groundwater is an increasingly important source of good quality
drinking water, as well as a vital element of our environment. There
has been concern for a number of years that the incorrect use and
disposal of certain substances could lead to pollution of
groundwater. To meet these concerns we have reviewed our legislation
and have decided to consult on new Groundwater Regulations designed
to provide additional protection for groundwater as part of our
continuing implementation of the Groundwater Directive.
'These proposals are based firmly on the 'polluter pays'
principle and are designed to prevent careless use and disposal of
substances which could pollute groundwater. However, it is not our
intention to penalise those who work in line with good practice.
'We intend the consultation process to be a pro-active one and
I have asked my officials to meet with representative organisations
in those sectors most likely to be affected in order that I can make
a full assessment of the impact of these proposals.'
The proposed Regulations would form part of the UK implementation of
the EC Groundwater Directive (80/68/EEC).
These Regulations would reinforce existing controls which protect
groundwater. The principal new elements introduced by these
Regulations would be:
that disposal or tipping of controlled substances would be
included in the system of authorisation in cases where the existing
waste management licensing system does not apply;
The Environment Agency (in England and Wales) and SEPA (in
Scotland) would have a duty to issue notices prohibiting or
controlling other activities in or on the ground involving controlled
substances where this was necessary to prevent the entry of List I
substances into groundwater or pollution from List II substances.
Those observing statutory codes of practice would not normally be
served with such notices.
The Regulations would be likely to have an impact on a wide range of
industrial and agricultural activities. Those sectors which could be
affected are set out in greater detail in the consultation paper.
The substances covered by the proposal are also set out in the paper.
Consultation on the paper will close on 14 April 1998.
Copies of the paper are available from:
43 Marsham St
London SW1P 3PY