§ Mr. Luff
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a statement on water quality in the River Severn at Worcester;
(2) if he will establish an independent inquiry into the National Rivers Authority's responsibility for and response to the pollution of the River Severn and water supplies in the Worcester area on Friday 15 April;
(3) what advice he has received from the drinking water inspectorate on the quality of water supplies from the Barbourne treatment works in Worcester; and if he will make a statement;
(4) what inquiry or inquiries are being conducted by his Department, or any organisation for which his Department is responsible, into the pollution of the River Severn and water supplies in the Worcester area on Friday 15 April; and if he will publish the results of all such inquiries; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 21 April 1994]: The drinking water inspectorate is carrying out an investigation into the effects of this incident on drinking water supplies and the handling of action to deal with it; its findings will be published. Timing may be affected by whether there is any need for prosecution arising from the incident. The National Rivers Authority is establishing the facts relating to the pollution of the river system and its own response. Subject to any legal constraints relating to possible prosecutions it will make its findings public. When the 681W results of these inquiries are available to me, I shall decide whether there is a need for any further investigation of any aspect of the matter.