Growing number of confidentiality requests under IPC

Over 50 applications for information to be kept off the public registers on the grounds of commercial confidentiality have been made by companies since integrated pollution control (IPC) came into force on 1 April 1991, according to a parliamentary reply by Environment Minister David Maclean.1 Just over a quarter have been granted in full, and only the two power generators have appealed against decisions by HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) to refuse their applications.

Section 20 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 established a system of public registers which contain specified information on industrial processes subject to IPC. This includes companies' applications for IPC authorisations.

Because the detail required in these applications by HMIP may contain sensitive material, section 22 of the Act provides that commercially confidential information may be excluded from the registers. Information

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