To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to reject the application to dump 11 million tonnes of capital spoil arising from Port Talbot harbour and channel in the Bristol channel; and if he will make a statement.
I am currently considering all aspects of an application to dump at sea dredged spoil from Port Talbot harbour and channel, including possible disposal sites. Applications for dumping of dredged spoil must be considered under the licensing provisions of part II of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. Licences are not issued unless careful scientific examination shows the operation to be acceptable in terms of its impact on the marine environment, the living resources that it supports and human health, and unless it conforms to the relevant international conventions. The practical availability of alternative methods of dealing with the spoil is also taken into account.