Short Delay In Start Up Of New Hazardous Substances Regime

  • Simon Upton

Short Delay in Start Up of New Hazardous Substances Regime The Minister for the Environment, Hon Simon Upton, has announced that there will be a short delay in starting up the new regime for managing hazardous substances.

The remaining parts of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 and the associated regulations are scheduled to come into effect on 1 April 1999. The regulations have been developed by the Ministry for the Environment over the past two years. The regulations include those which classify hazardous substances and control how they are managed so that health and the environment are protected.

"These regulations provide the framework for the Environmental Risk Management Authority to manage hazardous substances," Mr Upton said. "While virtually all of the regulations have been separately reviewed and checked by industry and experts as they have been written, we think it makes sense to provide a further opportunity to consider the package as a whole before it comes into effect."

"These are complex regulations and it is important to ensure consistency across the whole classification and control regime," the Minister said. "The experts need time to do a thorough job"

Mr Upton does not expect the review to reveal any major problems, but it may unearth small glitches which should be ironed out before the new system is applied formally.

"It is worth delaying the start-up by a few weeks so that the likelihood of teething problems can be reduced to a minimum," he said.

Mr Upton will announce a formal start-up date for the new regime in mid April. He emphasised that this delay will be short and that the new regime will be up and running before the middle of this year.