Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Letter from Lord Haskins, Chairman, Better Regulation Task Force to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 7 November 2001

  I have recently been sent a copy of a letter dated 12 October to all local authority Chief Executives about the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulation 2037/2000.

  It warns local authorities that from 1 January 2002 waste refrigerators become classified as special waste, and that they will have to be stored until technology is available in the UK to dispose of them safely, because the Regulation requires CFCs and HCFCs to be removed from their insulating foam.

  Given this Regulation was agreed in June 2000, I am very disappointed that this important and burdensome issue is being addressed only at the last minute. Either the issue of the foam was known about, in which case industry and local authorities should have been given more notice, or it was not, in which case the negotiation of this regulation would seem to have been defective. I know that this Regulation has involved cross-Government working between DTI and DETR/DEFRA and I would hope that this has not been the cause of this problem.

  I am copying this letter to Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers.

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