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House of Commons Hansard
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25 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the Environment Agency has not introduced its General Binding Rules in England and Wales to prevent the abuse of the drainage system from non-agricultural, commercial and domestic industries in accordance with its original timetable. [323844]

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Following DEFRA’s consultation on non-agricultural diffuse pollution in 2007, we made a decision to progress each policy option separately. For example, we have recently consulted on options for legislative mechanisms to control phosphates in domestic laundry cleaning products in the UK. We have also proposed a requirement for developers to consider sustainable drainage systems for surface water for all new developments in the Flood and Water Management Bill.

As part of this, the use of a legislative approach based on general binding rules (GBRs) is another of the options which we are developing. While we are not in a position to hold a consultation in the near future, as policy develops and further evidence of the impact of GBRs is gathered, we may hold a consultation. To commit to any policy on further development of GBRs we must be confident that any action would be of benefit to the environment, and that the economic and social impacts of the action are assessed.

More information about policy work is available on our website at:

www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/water/waterquality/diffuse/non-agri/index.htm