§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has been sponsored by his Department into the use of reed beds for the biological treatment and decontamination of contaminated mine water. 
§ Mr. Gummer
My Department has not sponsored any such projects. However, the Environment Agency, which is responsible for the monitoring and regulation of mine water discharges, is involved in two projects. First, it has set up a pilot project for the biological treatment, including reed beds, of mine water at the former Wheal Jane tin mine in Cornwall; secondly, it is collaborating with other parties on a wetland system to treat discharges into the River Pelenna, which is being partially funded by the EC LIFE programme. The data and experience obtained from these two projects will be valuable in the determination of treatment options for other sites.