§ Mrs. Helen Jackson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what provisions of European law provide that an application for a drought order, where withdrawal of water from areas of sites of special scientific interest is being considered, is accompanied by an environmental impact assessment 
§ Mr. Clappison
[holding answer 23 January 1996]: Environmental impact assessment is required in accordance with directive 85/337/EEC for projects involving drilling for water supplies where groundwater abstraction is likely to have a significant effect on the environment. No drought orders made during the past 12 months have involved the construction of new boreholes. Environmental impact assessment is not required under the directive for surface water abstraction.