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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:17 pm on 12th March 2020.

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Stuart Colville:

I would just observe that regulators and the water industry itself have a programme of research into what I suppose you would call novel contaminants or novel pollutants within watercourses and water bodies. That is funded at a reasonably high level and will continue. In fact, the next round, between 2020 and 2025, is about to start. That looks at things such as microplastics, antimicrobial resistance and exotic chemicals that may be leaching into watercourses from various forms. I suppose the question is whether there needs to be some duty or obligation through legislation to formalise that somehow. My sense is that the current system, which is overseen by the Environment Agency, is reasonably effective at keeping an eye on those substances and trying to work out what is actually in the environment.