HC Deb 12 June 1995 vol 261 cc406-7W
22. Mr. Sweeney

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress is being made in reducing the amount of raw sewage being pumped from Wales into the sea.

Mr. Redwood

Considerable progress is being achieved in improving the treatment of sewage discharges to Welsh costal waters. Dwr Cymru is aiming to complete its programme of improvements to discharges affecting EC identified bathing waters by 1998. It plans to invest over £400 million in the next five years, mainly at coastal sites, so that nearly all the waste water it collects will receive sewage treatment.

Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the National Rivers Authority report on toxic contaminants entering the sea, published on 23 May, in regard to its implications for the Welsh coastline. [26743]

Mr Gwilym Jones

The report "Contaminants Entering the Sea" outlines the results of the National Rivers Authority's monitoring programme over the period 1990 to 1993, in line with international agreements and commitments. Progress toward meeting the commitments to reduce the quantities of contaminants entering the sea has been encouraging. For some of the most toxic metals, the authority's estimate show that the reduction targets have already been met.

The results highlighted in the report do not necessarily signify pollution of the Welsh coastline: rather, they are examples of dissolved substances which, in many cases, occur naturally in Wales. The authority advises that in the overwhelming majority of cases the concentrations of substances found are not a threat to the biology of the river or marine environment in Wales. Areas of potential concern, such as those affected by pesticides or minerals, are being reviewed by the authority's Welsh region to identify appropriate action to be taken.

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