Analysis

HMIP acts to put a price on environmental harm

Many environmental improvements will not come cheap - but at what point does the cost outweigh the benefit? The question arises in all areas of environmental policy, but is written into the heart of the integrated pollution control (IPC) regime - yet to date it has been answered mainly by intuition. However, HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) has now unveiled plans for a more transparent system for balancing environmental harm against the cost of improvement. Its proposals have received a fairly warm, if cautious, reception from industry - although there are fears that the exclusion of solid waste may make a mockery of the concept of the "best practicable environmental option" (BPEO).

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