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Ground Water: Pollution

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, columns 735-6W, on ground water: pollution, what plans he has to initiate research into the level of groundwater contamination in the UK and to publish a strategic plan detailing the level of (a) contamination and (b) clean water. (196360)

In 2006 the Environment Agency published a report which identified the main risks to and impacts on groundwater quality. The Environment Agency has also carried out a groundwater protection policy review, which provides information on the key issues surrounding the contamination of groundwater. I have arranged for a copy of both documents to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

As part of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the agencies must prepare assessments of the risks to, and the status of, groundwater bodies in the UK and prepare strategic plans to meet WFD objectives. Preliminary risk assessments were published in 2004. These will be revised and published, together with status maps and proposed actions, in the draft River Basin District Management Plans. We expect these to issue for public consultation in December 2008.