§ Mr. Godman
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how widespread is the practice of dumping asbestos or asbestos-contaminated material in United Kingdom estuarial waters; how such dumping is monitored and regulated; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
[pursuant to his reply, 14 April 1986]: Asbestos or asbestos-contaminated material originating on land is not currently disposed of at sea in United Kingdom waters. However, some harbour dredgings may contain very small quantities of saturated asbestos along with other contaminants. Disposal of such material at sea is governed by part II of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 and, in considering whether approval should be given for such disposal, the appropriate licensing authority is required to have regard to the need to protect the marine environment, the living resources it supports, and human health; to prevent interference with legitimate uses of the sea; and to have regard to the practical availability of alternative methods of disposal. Staff of the appropriate authority would monitor any sea disposal of such material in the usual way.