§ Mr. Mullin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the closure of pits in the Durham coalfield on the pollution of the River Wear and other local waterways;
(2) what response he has made to the report on the probable environmental impact of the closure of Vane Tempest and Easington collieries by Dr. Paul Younger of Newcastle university; and what steps he is taking to avoid pollution of the River Wear.
§ Mr. Maclean
[holding answer 15 February 1993]: None. It is for British Coal and the National Rivers Authority, in the first place, to assess the environmental effects of pit closures and any relevant reports on the subject, and to consider what action may need to be taken to avoid pollution. My officials and the staff of the NRA have been in frequent contact about pollution from closed mines, and arrangements have been made between British Coal and the NRA for effective liaison over any proposed pit closures.