§ Mr. Alton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he is satisfied with the precautions taken in the disposal of pollutants into underwater dumps; and at what intervals dumps are checked for leaks or damage;
(2) whether he will set up an investigation into the procedure for the dumping of pollutants, especially heavy metals, in underwater dumps, in view of the recently reported leaks of mercury off the Danish coast; and if he will make available to the House the findings of any such investigation.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I have no knowledge of any planned or existing underwater dumps for the containment of waste in United Kingdom waters. Constructions of this kind would be subject to licence under the Dumping at Sea264W Act 1974 and would require the consent of the Secretary of State for Trade under the Coast Protection Act 1949. These arrangements provide the necessary safeguards and an investigation is not therefore required.