HC Deb 25 November 2002 vol 395 cc6-7W
Mr. Paul Keetch

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent discussions he has had with the US Navy on low frequency active sonar; and if he will make a statement; [82139]

(2) what (a) representations and (b) advice his Department has received about the legality of operating low frequency active sonar systems; and if he will make a statement. [82117]

Dr. Moonie

The Ministry of Defence and its Agencies regularly engage in discussion with the United States on a range of issues. Low frequency active sonar is such an issue. We have received no formal representations as to the legality of operating low frequency sonar. A global Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been prepared for the United Kingdom's low frequency sonar (Sonar 2087) which is currently under development and an EIA will also be undertaken for each development trial that is specific to the area concerned. Legal advice is part of each EIA. In addition, the global EIA was subject to independent legal review. We remain committed to meeting the requirements of UK law and of conventions to which the UK. is signatory.

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