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Volume 447: debated on Friday 16 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria the Environment Agency uses to assess the environmental consequences of hydroschemes; what conclusion it came to on the Littlecombe site, Dursley; and on what basis. (76042)

The Environment Agency assesses each scheme on its own merits and has produced a guidance document entitled “Hydropower—A Handbook for Agency Staff”, which is available to the public on request. It contains guidance for developers on the type of information they should consider as part of their responsibility to take account of the potential environmental impacts of hydroschemes.

The Environment Agency has not reached a conclusion about hydropower at the Littlecombe site, Dursley. Although it has discussed hydropower and what the developers would need to consider, the Agency has not yet received specific details or a consultation.