§ Mr. Moynihan
[holding answer 20 April 1989]: Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, dischargers must apply to the appropriate regulatory authority—currently regional water authorities or Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution—before discharging into controlled waters. Consents are usually subject to specified conditions, the purpose of which is to protect the environmental quality objectives of the receiving waters.
My hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Water and Planning announced on 7 December 1988, at column 199, an accelerated programme of about £1,000 million for all water authorities to bring sub-standard sewage treatment works into compliance with their discharge consents by March 1992.
In addition, the Mersey basin campaign involves the construction of new sewage treatment and disposal facilities and the provision of major new interceptor sewers to take industrial trade and sewage effluents which are currently discharged directly into the river. The programme, which will cost around £2.5 billion over 25 years, will bring the Mersey up to class 2 (fair quality) throughout its length.
§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will cease to exempt Unilever on the Mersey from the provisions of the Control of Pollution Act;
(2) whether he will now require Granox to comply with the Control of Pollution Act; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moynihan
[holding answer 20 April 1989]: The provisions of part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 apply to all companies.