§ Mr. Andrew MacKay
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement about the new drinking water inspectorate.
§ Mr. Howard
Section 60 of the Water Act 1989 empowers my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales to appoint technical assessors to act on their behalf in relation to the new provisions on drinking water quality and supply. This is the statutory basis for the new drinking water inspectorate which will begin work on 2 January 1990. Their principal task will be to ensure that water undertakers in England and Wales are fulfilling all their statutory requirements for the supply of wholesome drinking water. They will check for failures to comply with the standards set by the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 which come fully into force on 1 January 1990. If a failure occurs the inspectorate will ensure that appropriate action is taken.
Mr. M. G. Healey has been appointed chief inspector. Mr. Healey is head of the drinking water division of the Department of the Environment and is an engineer by training.