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Water: North East Region

Volume 468: debated on Monday 3 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will ensure that water customers in the North East region will not have to contribute to a national recovery of compensation costs which affect other regions and other water company areas under the Water Abstraction Charges Scheme. (169850)

The Environment Agency is expected to take action against abstraction licences where the abstraction is adversely impacting on conservation sites, in particular those designated under European legislation. Where it needs to revoke or modify an abstraction licence, compensation is generally payable. The compensation payments form part of the cost of meeting its duty to manage water resources and will therefore be recovered via abstraction charges.

The Environment Agency is consulting on options to recover any compensation that may be payable. No decision on changes to abstraction charges will be taken until the consultation ends on 7 December and the Environment Agency has submitted its proposals to Ministers.