HC Deb 13 December 1988 vol 143 c526W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to ban the following from rivers(a) mercury, (b) lindane, (c) dieldrin, (d) cadmium, (e) carbon tetrachloride, (f) pentachlorephenol, (g) arsenic and (h) lead, chromium, nickel, zinc and copper; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moynihan

Discharges containing any potentially polluting substances are prohibited without prior authorisation under the normal provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

Discharges to rivers of all the substances listed are covered by European Community directives. Community-wide limit values and quality objectives are laid down for mercury, lindane, cadmium, carbon tetrachloride and pentachlorophenol. Those for dieldrin come into force on 1 January 1989. All discharges of these substances must be consented by the appropriate water authority in accordance with the provisions of the directives.

Additionally, in order to protect the aquatic environment the Government recently announced that all remaining approved uses of dieldrin as a pesticide will be prohibited from 30 March 1989.

National quality standards are in force for arsenic, lead, chromium, nickel, zinc and copper. These are set out in DoE circular 18/85 (Welsh Office circular 37/85).

Mrs. Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received a report on the spillage of 20,000 litres of diesel oil into the tidal beaches of the River Llyst near Exeter in the South West water authority; and if he will place a copy in the Library.

Mr. Moynihan

No. The South West water authority has treated this as a local, though serious, pollution incident. I understand that the spillage was successfully contained under the authority's established emergency procedures and that as a result there was limited environmental damage. The authority is now considering the need for any further action arising from the incident.