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South West Water

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 27 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to ensure that the inspector who conducted the inquiry at the Old Postern, Dartington, on 18 June, into South West Water's application for a drought order on the River Avon, is given the details of the accidental discharge of titanium dioxide into the River Erme on 15 June and of the damage done to aquatic life; and if he will make a statement.

The discharge of titanium dioxide into the River Erme on 15 June has no direct bearing on South West Water's application for a drought order affecting the River Avon, because the rivers are not linked. I understand from the National Rivers Authority that, although this discharge affected the appearance of the Erme, it did not affect aquatic life. The Secretary of State's decision on the drought order application will be issued as soon as possible.