asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what communications he has received from the European Community regarding legal action in relation to the European Community directive on nitrite levels.
The Commission of the European Communities wrote on 13 February 1987 to inform me that it had decided to take action against the United Kingdom under article 169 of the treaty for non-compliance with the EC directive relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption, in respect of nitrite levels in the water supply serving Tower Hamlets. No reasons were given and no letter instituting such action has been received to date.A request for a delay in complying with the directive standard for nitrite in Tower Hamlets was sent to the Commission in 1985, as permitted under article 20 of the directive. The delay was requested until September this year, by which time the supply is expected to comply with the directive. The Commission is now being informed of the substantial progress already made towards achieving this compliance.