§ Mr. Lansley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the annual cost of protecting sites of special scientific interest at risk from water abstraction, water pollution and groundwater contamination. 
§ Angela Eagle
In its May 1998 submission to the Government entitledA Price Worth Paying the Environment Agency, in consultation with English Nature and the Countryside Council of Wales, identified sites of special scientific interest at risk due to water companies' abstractions and discharges. The cost of dealing with these sites, as estimated by the water companies, was given in the Director General of Water Services' open letter to the Secretaries of State of 30 April 1998. We shall take the costs into account together with the Agency's advice in determining the guidance we give the Director General later this summer on the environmental obligations which water companies will be expected to meet through the Periodic Review of water prices. Copies of A Price Worth Paying and the Director General's open letter are in the Library of the House.