Alkali Act 1863
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In 1874, under the Alkali Act 1874, the Inspector became the Chief Inspector. The first Chief Inspector was Dr Robert Angus Smith, he was statutorily responsible for the standards set and maintained by the Inspectorate, and reported directly to the Permanent Secretary of his department. For the first sixty years of its existence, the Inspectorate was solely concerned with the heavy chemicals industry, but from the 1920s onwards, its responsibilities were expanded, culminating in the Alkali Order 1958. This placed all major heavy industries which emitted smoke, grit, dust and fumes under the supervision of the Inspectorate.
The 1863 Act was extended and expanded at least three times: first by the Alkali, &c. Works Regulation Act 1881, thence by the Alkali, &c. Works Regulation Act 1892, and subsequently by the Alkali, &c. Works Regulation Act 1906.
The Inspectorate has worked under the purview of many different departments:
- From 1863 to 1872, the Board of Trade
- From 1873 to 1918, the Local Government Board
- From 1919 to 1951, the Ministry of Health
- From 1951 to 1970, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government
- From 1970 to 1975, the Department of the Environment
The Chief Inspector's independence disappeared when the Inspectorate was transferred to the Health and Safety Executive in 1975.
The Inspectorate was known as Industrial Air Pollution Inspectorate from 1983 to 1987 and became Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) when it was transferred back to the Department of the Environment in 1987.
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