Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Supplementary Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (CEM 49(a))


  Paragraph 42 of the joint memorandum submitted by the Home Office and the DETR in December last year referred to the review of the 1995 statutory guidance on what constitutes BATNEEC for air emissions from crematoria.

  The Committee may have been told that the review was looking at an emission limit for mercury should be inserted in the guidance. The Department has been in discussion with the Federation of British Cremation Authorities over this possibility and both the Department and the Federation have undertaken some investigations. The Department welcomes the fact that the Federation has recently commissioned further research.

  The Department has, at this stage, concluded that there is much still to be understood about the issues concerning mercury emissions and the implications of setting a limit for existing crematoria, and that further work is needed before a decision can be made. The review will therefore proceed looking at the remainder of the 1995 guidance, including whether a mercury emission limit should be set for new crematoria (but not for existing crematoria). It is anticipated that the review will be re-opened during the course of next year to examine further the case for a mercury limit for existing crematoria.

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