§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers exist for local authorities to take legal action against sewage disposal companies on grounds of public nuisance. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 16 May 2002]: Local authorities have no statutory nuisance powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with nuisance from sewage treatment works. However, it is possible for local authorities or the public to take common law action. My Department is currently exploring the available legislation and existing controls as a possible means to address the problem of nuisance from sewage treatment works in the future.