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Water Supplies

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the number of poison dumps which threaten water supplies; and what assessment he has made of the danger posed by such dumps to water supplies within the Newcastle-under-Lyme constituency.

These are matters for waste disposal authorities. They are required to operate disposal licensing controls under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, acting in consultation with what is now the National Rivers Authority, in order to prevent risks of water pollution. Under provisions in the Environmental Protection Bill, waste regulation authorities will also be required to inspect and monitor closed landfill sites.The recently publicised 1974 survey was a desk assessment to assist the relevant authorities in carrying out their statutory responsibilities. Since then, the Department has had an active research programme into the behaviour and characteristics of landfill sites, the results of which have been reflected in a series of waste management papers issued by the Department.