§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will extend the new requirement for industry to use the best available technology to reduce the polluting effect of industrial discharges to existing dischargers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Works scheduled under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 must be operated using the "best practicable means" to prevent atmospheric emissions and to abate any emissions that cannot be prevented. This incorporates the use of best available technology not entailing excessive cost for newly scheduled works. Existing scheduled works are reviewed periodically and, if appropriate, the controls over emissions upgraded.
§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which water authorities have reached the permitted levels of ammoniacal nitrogen in their river systems for each year since 1983.
§ Mr. Moynihan
Water authorities set their own water quality objectives which may include standards for ammonia. Compliance with such standards is a matter for the authorities. However, some 16,000 kms of river length in England and Wales have been designated by authorities for the purposes of the EC directive on the "Quality of freshwater needing protection or improvement in order to support fish life" (75/659/EEC) which does contain ammonia standards. The only compliance data held centrally relate to 1984 and show that overall some 97 per cent. of the length of designated rivers met the ammonia standards in the directive. Results for later years are held by the authorities concerned.