Expansion for Anglo-Welsh pollution register

Government looks to exceed EU requirements by including nuclear sites, smaller installations

The Anglo-Welsh inventory of industrial pollution is to be expanded for the second time in two years, UK environment minister Michael Meacher said today. Along with a Dutch system, the register is already the most advanced in Europe. "This is a major and substantial increase" in the inventory's scope, said Mr Meacher.

Introduced in 1999, the Anglo-Welsh inventory profiles releases of 150 toxic substances by some 2,000 installations regulated under the country's integrated pollution control regime (ENDS Daily 12 May 1999). It replaced an existing, but less ambitious, register known as the chemicals release inventory.

Inventory operator the Anglo-Welsh environment agency is now looking to increase coverage of the system to over 7,000 sites over the next two years, Mr Meacher told journalists. The expansion anticipates the 2003 launch of a European polluting emissions register. This will require all EU countries to report releases of 50 substances by all installations regulated under the integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) directive (ENDS Daily 21 July 2000).

As well as moving faster than required under EU rules, the Anglo-Welsh system will also be extended still further, Mr Meacher said. Talks are underway with the water industry on including not only the 100 or so large sewage works to be regulated under IPPC, but also around 1,000 smaller ones. All waste landfills - only a minority of which are to be regulated under IPPC - will have to report emissions as well. The environment agency is also moving to include radioactive releases by the 47 largest nuclear industry sites.

In addition, the government is considering the feasibility of including emissions from a very large number of less polluting installations that are regulated by local authorities. A research study recommending how this could be achieved was published by the environment ministry today.

Follow Up:
UK environment ministry, tel: +44 20 79 44 30 00; Anglo-Welsh environment agency, tel: +44 78 63 87 10. See also study on inventory extension to locally regulated installations, and the Anglo-Welsh pollution inventory.

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