HC Deb 15 November 1972 vol 846 c407
13. Mr. Laurance Reed

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the procedure for notifying river authorities of any pollution hazard that may arise from a road accident involving tanker vehicles.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Eldon Griffiths)

I am sending my hon. Friend copies of my Department's circular about procedure on oil spills and of Home Office guidance to fire brigades about other dangerous substances. I understand that the Chemical Industries Association's TREMCARDS advise drivers of road tankers carrying dangerous chemicals to notify the police of any spillages and that they in turn inform river authorities.

Mr. Reed

I thank my hon. Friend, but I have already seen his circular. In cases of this kind should there not be a statutory obligation to notify river authorities of a spillage, comparable to the obligation, under the Pipelines Act. 1962, on operators of pipelines?

Mr. Griffiths

I do not think that it is always necessary to have statutory obligations. What matters is whether the job is done, and I am satisfied that in the vast majority of instances it is done conscientiously.

Mr. Dalyell

Are there any readily available figures for the number of times the police have not been notified?

Mr. Griffiths

No; we do not keep figures of the number of times that things do not happen.

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