HC Deb 18 June 1968 vol 766 cc132-3W
Mr. Ted Fletcher

asked the Minister of Technology what reports he has received from the working party set up by his Department to look into the question of pollution on Tees-side; and what action he proposes to take arising from the recommendations of the workig party.

Dr. Bray

The Working Group was not appointed by the Ministry of Technology. It was set up by the Interdepartmental Committee on Air Pollution Research under the chairmanship of the Director of the Warren Spring Laboratory. Work for the Group is being undertaken by U.K.A.E.A., Harwell, under the terms of a requirement my right hon. Friend made in August, 1967, under Section 4 of the Science and Technology Act. Sixty per cent. of Harwell's effort on air pollution is devoted to Tees-side mist, the total cost of air pollution work from August, 1967, to 31st March, 1968, being £52,350. An increased effort is being made in the current year. The limited work so far carried out both at Tees-side and at Harwell indicates that concentration of ammonium sulphate particles at Harwell has been found to be as great as that normally occurring on Tees-side, so the usual level of pollution seems not to be greater than that in the Harwell area. However, ammonium sulphate occasionally occurs on Tees-side in much greater quantities than normal. When this occurs in combination with atmospheric conditions producing a sea fret, the effect may be to make mist more persistent. The problem is confined to some 12 days in the year, mainly in May or June but also in September to November. The incidence of the mist is uneven, affecting some parts of Tees-side more than others.

The work planned for this summer at Tees-side and elsewhere may confirm and extend these ideas. As soon as a report is available, the Interdepartmental Committee will notify direct the Government Departments concerned regarding what action, if any, is required.

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