HC Deb 07 May 1973 vol 856 c33W
Mr. Marks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what report he has received of the spillage of 2,000 gallons of crude oil into a brook at Gorton, Manchester; and what action he is taking to prevent similar occurrences.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

Responsibility for action when such incidents occur lies entirely with river authorities, which are fully equipped to deal with them. In this instance, I understand from the Mersey and Weaver River Authority that prompt action was taken. Normal stream conditions were quickly restored in the brook. The river authorities have powers to take action to prevent river pollution under Section 3 of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act 1951. I am, however, aware that these powers are difficult to apply. My right hon. and learned Friend hopes to present, during the lifetime of this Parliament, legislation which will provide more effective powers.