§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the report by Brunel university on the levels of female hormones found in sewage effluent discharged into watercourses and the sea around the United Kingdom; and what plans he has to ensure that water companies extract these hormones from discharges. 
§ Mr. Clappison
The Environment Agency commissioned this report. Further work is needed to establish whether these hormones need to be removed from sewage effluent. The water industry is investigating further how they are affected by the sewage treatment process. The Environment Agency plans further work to establish how the hormones are broken down naturally after discharge. With the Natural Environment Research Council, it is also examining whether the presence of these substances has any implications for fish populations and their fertility. Most of the rivers adjacent to the seven treatment works tested in this study support thriving fish populations.