HC Deb 24 February 1992 vol 204 cc411-2W
Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the cost involved in the proposals submitted to his Department by the National Rivers Authority for medium to long-term plans to tackle the pollution in the Fal estuary from the River Carnon; when he expects to take a decision; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry

[holding answer 21 February 1992]: The National Rivers Authority's initial estimates of costs for the main options for tackling the mine discharge into the Carnon river are:

£ thousands
1991–92 1992–93 1993–94
Monitoring programme 342 180
Short term treatment 185 460
Medium term treatment by biological anaerobic system: planning and design 100
construction and operation 900 350

Estimates have also been submitted for an alternative method of treatment in the medium term costing some £3 million per annum in a full year, and a longer term solution costing some £2.3 million over the first two years plus research and development costs. All these estimates may be subject to substantial amendment as planning and design work proceeds.

These are estimates of costs and not bids for extra resources. The NRA's head office are currently assessing the extent to which they can make provision for expenditure on Wheal Jane from within their existing budgets for 1991–92 and 1992–93. We expect to receive their assessment for 1991–92 later this month or early next, so that we can consider their grant-in-aid position. As in previous years, we will be reviewing later this year whether the NRA's grant for 1992–93 is adequate. The cost of installing and operating improved medium term treatment arrangements at Wheal Jane will be taken into account at that review.

For 1993–94 and later years, the NRA's grant will be considered in the normal way as a part of the 1992 public expenditure survey.

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