THE COMMISSION'S REPORTS
The First Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
was published in February 1971 and to date, twenty
six in-depth reports and three shorter special
reports have been published. Of the many recommendations by the
Commission which successive Governments have accepted and implemented,
the following are some notable examples:
- Statutory powers to control all discharges into rivers, estuaries
and coastal waters (Third Report).
- Adoption of the concept of best practicable environmental option or
BPEO (Fifth Report), which the Commission has since developed further
- The establishment of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee
- Integration of responsibilities of different Government Departments
for dealing with oil spills at sea (Eighth Report).
- Initiation of negotiations within the European Community to secure
the removal of the minimum level for lead in petrol (Ninth Report),
so making it possible to buy unleaded petrol.
- Acceptance that, as a guiding principle behind all legislative and
administrative controls on environmental pollution, there should be
a presumption in favour of unrestricted access for the public to information
which pollution control authorities obtain or receive by virtue of their
statutory powers (Tenth Report).
- The establishment of a unified Pollution Inspectorate (Fifth and Eleventh
- Recommendations on waste management (Eleventh Report), release of
genetically engineered organisms (Thirteenth Report) and straw-burning
(Seventh, Tenth and Eleventh Reports), all covered by provisions of
the Environmental Protection Act 1990.