§ Mrs. Ann Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. French) of 5 March,Official Report, column 452, (1) who will be responsible for showing that coastal discharges which receive only primary treatment will not adversely affect the environment; and how this obligation will work in practice;
(2) what is his Department's definition of a substantial discharge of sewage;
(3) what proportion of existing sewage discharge outlets will be affected by the requirement for (i) primary and (iii) secondary treatment;
(4) how the investment programme of £1.5 billion for treating sewage discharges will be financed;
(5) what is the timetable for implementation of his policy on waste water treatment.
§ Mr. Trippier
My right hon. Friend's answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. French) on 5 March,Official Report, column 452, noted that the investment programme should be completed as soon as practicable and that discussions would be held with the National Rivers Authority, the Office of Water Services and the sewerage undertakers to work out the detailed arrangements for implementing this. Those discussions are now being held. The starting point for those discussions will be the CES report, copies of which have been placed in the Library. In this context substantial discharges are those from settlements of 10,000 or more to coastal waters. The number of sewage discharge outfalls covered by this definition is shown in tables 3.1 and 3.2 of the CES report. It will be for the water companies to determine how to 315W finance their investment programmes, and for the director general to determine what adjustments to water charges will be needed.