HL Deb 25 March 1988 vol 495 c379

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assistance they propose to give to the study of pollution of the North Sea sponsored by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Lord Hesketh

My Lords, I understand that the Natural Environment Research Council plans to spend £7 million over five years from 1988–89 on a study of water quality in the North Sea. In addition, my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is contributing £1.3 million to the study. I also expect my own department to be able to contribute to some parts of the programme of most relevance to its own responsibilities.

Lord Campbell of Croy

My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for that reply. I welcome the attention now being given by governments to the state of the North Sea. I understand that this study is based upon a computer system. As rivers and other outlets are increasingly causing some of the worst of the pollution, will the study include sources on land on both sides of the North Sea?

Lord Hesketh

My Lords, the noble Lord will be well aware that at the recent conference on the North Sea, one of the main aims that were discussed and agreed was to reduce the input of dangerous substances into rivers by 50 per cent. by 1995. It was also proposed that there should be no increase in the 1987 level of input of contaminants and sewage sludge.

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