Reform of Northern Ireland laws on waste, contaminated land

Long-awaited proposals to bring Northern Ireland's waste management laws broadly into line with the rest of the UK have finally have finally been issued by the Government.1 Waste regulation is to be transferred from district councils to a central inspectorate, although the districts are to retain their responsibilities for waste disposal. However, for the moment at least it seems that the new inspectorate may have more far-reaching powers in respect of contaminated land investigation, remediation and registers than its counterparts in Britain.

Northern Ireland's last waste legislation of any note was passed in 1978, and was modelled on Part I of the Control of Pollution Act, passed in Britain four years earlier. Britain's waste management legislation was overhauled by Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and this, together with related legislation on waste carriers, is now serving as a model for Northern Ireland again.

Concern about waste management standards rose

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