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Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action is being taken to control the discharge of pentachlorophenol from grey cloth; and if he will make a statement.

Since 1 January 1988 the EC dangerous substances directive 86/280/EEC has required all surface waters to meet an environmental quality standard in respect of pentachlorophenol—(PCP—of 2 microgrammes per litre as an annual average.Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, on behalf of the Secretary of State, has reviewed a number of trade effluent consents granted to traders discharging effluent which may contain PCP.As a result, traders have been given a period of time in which to take measures to control the discharge of PCP in order to enable the environmental quality standard in the receiving water to be achieved. The most effective measure is for traders to tackle the problem at source by accepting only those supplies uncontaminated with PCP, and I understand that they are having some success in this respect.